A close friend of a Dunedin man killed in a fiery crash at the weekend says it is like losing a son.

Josiah Mani, 24, was ''an amazing, humble person'' who did not have much, but what he did have he gave to others, Dallas Wade said yesterday.

Mani was one of two men killed when the car he was in caught fire after it and a truck collided on King Edward St, in South Dunedin, at 3.30am on Saturday.

The surviving occupant of the car had serious injuries, and the truck driver had moderate injuries. Both were taken to Dunedin Hospital by ambulance.


It is with great sadness that we let our members know that one of our Dunedin league whanau Josiah Mani has passed this...

Posted by Otago Rugby League on Saturday, 4 July 2020

The driver was discharged from hospital later on Saturday.

Wade said he was struggling to comprehend the news his friend had died.

''I'm still in shock really.

''I was a bit of a dad to him. It's very devastating.''

Mani left behind a partner and friends in Dunedin, and family back home in Papua New Guinea.

It is understood all three men in the car worked at Mainland Poultry in Waikouaiti, and one had their last day at the factory on Friday.

Wade said he had been involved with setting up a Givealittle page mainly organised by Mani's rugby league club, the Kia Toa Tigers Sports Club, to raise funds to return his body home to Papua New Guinea.

''He worked hard to support his family here and at home in Papua New Guinea and now Josiah needs our help to return him home and for funeral costs,'' Wade said.


More than $4500 had been given by last night.

Mani's mother, Esther Mani, paid tribute to her son on social media, saying: ''I think of you in every moment of my life.''

''But sometimes I feel the pain becomes so heavy to control.

''Life without you seems meaningless. I miss you so much my son.''

Wade said a large gathering of Mani's ''tiger family'', friends and other rugby league players paid tribute outside the Kensington Tavern, near the site of the crash, on Sunday.

Stuff have named the second person killed as William Quin, a Christchurch man studying marine biology at the University of Otago.


The university declined to comment yesterday.