Family and friends have paid tribute to a young woman who was allegedly killed by a New Zealand hit-and-run driver in a stolen rental car just after she played Pokemon Go.

Sydney woman Tanami Nayler was dragged 70 metres after being mowed down on a pedestrian crossing in the west of Melbourne on Saturday morning, with the driver allegedly travelling at 100km/h in a 60km/h zone.

Miss Nayler, 22, was playing Pokemon Go with a friend and had just finished hunting for the game's characters when they decided to get some food shortly after 2am, 7 News reported.

Ms Nayler had her phone in her pocket when she was hit by the stolen silver Toyota Corolla after the driver allegedly sped through a red light before crashing into a tree and pole.


Her horrified friend watched helplessly as the woman was left for dead in the middle of the road after the 21-year-old driver allegedly fled the scene on foot.

Nicholas Michael Davison was arrested nearby and charged with culpable driving, dangerous driving, failed to stop at the scene of an accident, failed to render assistance, burglary and theft.

The New Zealand man, who currently lives in North Melbourne, appeared in Melbourne's Magistrates Court on Saturday following the alleged hit-and-run.

Ms Nayler's family are in shock, and her cousin, Joshua Leish, told the Herald Sun her death was "senseless".

A 22-year-old Sydney woman was tragically killed when she was struck by a stolen rental car (pictured). Photo / Channel 7 / Supplied
A 22-year-old Sydney woman was tragically killed when she was struck by a stolen rental car (pictured). Photo / Channel 7 / Supplied

Leish said his cousin had recently been promoted at work and was managing the Sydney fashion shop she worked for.

He said she had gone to Melbourne to visit one of her closest friends.

"Everything was working pretty well for her, she seemed to be starting to go places," he said.

Detective Inspector Stuart McGregor described the tragedy as "an absolute waste of life".
"All she did was just walk across the pedestrian crossing, legally, and [she] has unfortunately paid with her life because of someone else's behaviour," McGregor told reporters.

"It's fair to say that this is probably one of the lowest acts I think you can commit on the road. Unfortunately, we've seen the worst of humanity where the driver has got out and just run away. No attempt to assist, no attempt to concern themselves with the welfare of the person he has hit. To me it's just despicable."

Ms Nayler was reportedly playing the viral reality mobile game Pokemon Go where users - or "trainers" - can capture so-called "wild" Pokemon characters.

Pokemon Go has attracted legions of fans across the world, with crowds gathering in public spaces to catch the fictional characters on the "augmented reality" app.

The woman had just arrived in Melbourne the night before to visit the friend, who was standing just metres from her when she stepped into the path of the car.

Police alleged the man was driving at speeds of up to 100km/h.

He was remanded in custody until his next court appearance. If found guilty, McGregor said Davison could spend up to 20 years behind bars.