A teenager has been charged with manslaughter after a fatal crash claimed the life of 19-year-old plumber Ravineel Avikash Sharma in August.

Today police arrested a 19-year-old Central Otago man in relation to the crash.

As well as manslaughter he was charged with driving recklessly and causing injury, police said in a statement.

The man was released on bail and will appear in the Alexandra District Court later this month.


Detective Derek Shaw, of the Central Otago CIB, said Sharma's family had been told of the development and asked for privacy as they continued to grieve.

"I wish to sincerely thank the other emergency service personnel, victim support and members of the public who assisted either at the crash or after this tragic event," he said.

"I also want to thank the witnesses who responded to the public appeal for information."​

Police were unable to comment further because the case matter was before the court.

Sharma died after the car he was in struck a tree on Coates Rd, near Alexandra Airport, just after midnight on August 10.

The teen had been out with friends and had asked his father to pick him up but then decided to catch a ride with a friend.

Ratnesh Sharma told Fairfax his son turned him away when he arrived.

"I was going to pick [wife] Santa up from the Four Square where she works. I went there and he said, 'Go pick mum first and come back and pick me up'."


Four hours later - at 2am - there was a knock at the door.

It was the police telling them his eldest child, his "bubbly", hard-working son, was dead, Ratnesh Sharma told Fairfax.

"It was our worst nightmare."

Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk, of Alexandra police, said at the time that the crash was "completely preventable".

"We can only hope that this tragedy helps reinforce the message about the need to keep ourselves our friends and our whanau safe."

Sharma had been sitting in the front passenger seat when the Nissan vehicle crashed.

The driver, a 19-year-old Ranfurly man, was taken to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition.

The 19-year-old rear passenger suffered minor injuries.

Sharma's family moved to Alexandra from Fiji 13 years ago.