A drunk man who ran a red light in his car and slammed into a taxi, killing the young father inside, has pleaded guilty.
Farshad Bahadori Esfehani, 21, appeared in the High Court at Auckland this morning to amend his pleas over the December 2017 crash.
The now 22-year-old pleaded guilty to driving with excess breath alcohol causing death, dangerous driving causing death, and failure to stop and ascertain injury.
He was due to stand trial on Monday but will now be sentenced next month.
Esfehani, who was supported in court by several friends and family, was remanded in custody by Justice Simon Moore.
The judge said the drunk driver is facing an inevitable prison term.
Abdul Raheem Fahad Syed, 29, a Discount Taxis driver and new dad, was killed in the early morning crash on Symonds St in central Auckland when Esfehani's black Mercedes-Benz slammed into Syed's Toyota Prius.
Court documents, viewed by the Herald, show Esfehani blew more than three times over the legal limit.
He had 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 a criminal charge.
Syed, who was believed to be on his way to pick up passengers, died just after 4.45am on December 23, 2017.
Esfehani and his passenger then fled the scene and were only found 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, Nishat Abedi, later told the Herald her life was shattered when she learned of her husband's death.
"For me, everything is numb," she said.
"I was completely, completely numb. I was in shock."
She 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.
After the crash, an outpouring of support from the New Zealand public followed, which 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."
The Hyderabadi community in New Zealand also rallied to support Abedi and her son after Syed's death.
Syed and Abedi moved to New Zealand in 2015, with Abedi, who had a Bachelor of Commerce, wanting to continue her studies.
She completed a postgraduate degree in international business at Auckland's UUNZ Institute of Business.
Syed, who was described as a hard worker and keen cricketer, also loved his new homeland and the New Zealand people.
"I know his soul is in peace … he was a gentle [man]," Abedi said of her husband.
"For me, he was an angel."
Abedi was also concerned about her and her son's immigration status with her work visa due to expire during February last year.
However, she received a two-year work visa and said she intends to apply for New Zealand residency.
Abedi works as a manager at ZamZam Restaurant in Mt Roskill, which supported her work visa.
"I'll be grateful for my entire life to the restaurant," Abedi said.
A Givealittle page was also created to support Abedi and her young boy and reached more than $84,000.
They returned to India shortly after the crash to bury Syed in Hyderabad, the city where the couple grew up.