Key Points:

Two enraged drivers who stood arguing with each other while a 12-year-old Taupo boy lay dead have both pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death.

The guilty plea of Shane Dennis Perkins, an 18-year-old Taupo labourer, in the Taupo District Court yesterday closed the case of road rage that led to the New Year's Eve death of pedestrian Billy Wall.

A charge of manslaughter against Perkins was withdrawn.

The driver who struck the boy as he crossed State Highway 1, Taihape man James Kevin Welson, 20, was also at the court, awaiting sentencing, the Dominion Post reported. He had earlier pleaded guilty to reckless driving causing death.

The court heard the two drivers had been chasing and hurling abuse at each other, reaching speeds of up to 160kph. The boy was hit as the drivers sped side-by-side through a 70kph-section of the highway at 100kph.

The 12-year-old, who was walking home with friends after playing in the Waitahanui river, was hit by Welson.

After hitting the boy, the two drivers then pulled over about 150 metres up the road, where Perkins and his cousin abused Welson and his brother and threatened them with a wheel brace.

Police did not know the reason for the men's road rage.

- NZPA