An allegedly drunk man who ran a red light in his Mercedes-Benz and crashed into a taxi, killing the driver, will face a High Court trial.
Farshad Bahadori Esfehani, 21, appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning before Justice Simon Moore.
He has pleaded not guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol causing death, driving with excess breath alcohol causing injury, and failure to stop and ascertain injury.
Esfehani was late for his court appearance and given a stern warning by Justice Moore, who remanded the young man on bail until his trial in May next year.
Court documents show Esfehani is accused of blowing more than three times over the legal limit - a breath alcohol reading of 908mcg of alcohol per litre of breath.
The limit for drivers aged 20 years and over is 250mcg, and those who blow over 400mcg will face criminal charges.
Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, 29, a Discount Taxis driver and young father, was killed in the early morning crash on Symonds St in central Auckland when a black Mercedes slammed into his Toyota Prius.
Syed, believed to be on his way to pick up passengers, died just after 4.45am on December 23.
Esfehani and his passenger allegedly fled the scene and were found only with the help of members of the public, police and the Eagle helicopter. Police dog units were also called to the scene.
Syed's widow later told the Herald her life was shattered when she learned of her husband's death.
Nishat Abedi recalled Syed leaving their home about midnight for what would be the last time.
He placed his hand on their sleeping son's head because he feared the youngster might be getting sick and told his wife, "just take care of him", Abedi said.
At about 7.30am she received the dreaded phone call.
An outpouring of support from the New Zealand public followed the crash and included Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
"I was surrounded by my own family when I read the news of this devastating accident," Ardern told the Herald at the time.
"I cannot comprehend the kind of loss Nishat Abedi is feeling. My thoughts are with her at this difficult time."
A Givealittle page was also created to support Abedi and her baby boy.
They returned to India last December to bury Syed in Hyderabad, the city where the couple grew up.