As a group of motorcycle riders arrived at their next destination, they soon realised one of the pack was missing.
Friends of Johnny Danger, real surname Bennett, rushed back after being told by friends following him there had been a crash.
Gareth Williams was among those taking part in the Anzac Ride organised by a few friends.
The group left a petrol station on Quay St, in downtown Auckland, about 1pm. The plan was to ride through town over the Harbour Bridge to Albany and Riverhead, before ending the day at a bar in Ponsonby.
"[We] left Albany for the second half ride. Johnny and the group headed off and it was in this section Johnny had come off the road,'' Williams said.
"From what myself and other riders there think, could be due to the loose gravel on the road, which I believed caused the accident."
Williams said half the group - those ahead of Bennett - were unaware there had been a crash until they arrived in Riverhead.
"The ones behind Johnny didn't see how the accident happened due to the corner and being some distance behind.''
Williams said he and others arrived at the crash to find friends and family doing CPR on their mate.
He said they "did everything possible'' to help Bennett.
Paramedics arrived quickly after and more efforts were made to save his life. Among the riders, shock started to set in, Williams said.
"Unfortunately, after the ambulance and other services arrived and worked on him, we had been informed he didn't pull through.''
Williams, who met Bennett last year, paid tribute to a man who had a huge following on social media for his funny videos, and had a huge heart for others.
In particular, he had dreams to help raise funds for those affected by mental health issues and cancer.
"He discussed with us a few ideas, over the past months, of getting involved in raffling some things so he could give the profits to mental health and prostate cancer charities.''
Many of those taking part in yesterday's ride are linked with Wolfpack Inc, an organisation set up to help raise funds for mental health charities, which Bennett was also linked to.
Williams said many of the riders were still in shock about losing a mate.
"Those who knew Johnny knew he loved riding and having a laugh. He was a solid bloke who loved a danger larger as long as it was backed up with the danger swig and a good party.
"He achieved huge things and had so much love and things to give back. He will be deeply missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.''
Police are investigating the crash.