Promising rugby player and father named as victim of west Auckland Boxing Day crash

Viliami Muru-Teutau.
Viliami Muru-Teutau. Photo credit: Daniel Maleko Patea/Facebook

A 20-year-old killed in a double-fatal crash in west Auckland on Boxing Day was a promising young rugby player and father-of-one.

Police on Sunday night named one of the victims Viliami Muru-Teutau, one of four people killed on New Zealand roads so far this holiday period.

Muru-Teutau died when the car he was in crashed into a bridge on Triangle Rd, Massey early Saturday. He's survived by his partner and one-year-old daughter.

In a statement via police, his family said he was a naturally gifted athlete and a roofing apprentice who worked hard and had everything to live for.

"We can't believe he is gone," the statement said. "We are in a state of shock and our hearts are broken.

"He is the father of a one-year-old daughter, and as one of five children, Vili's death has crushed his parents and family. There are no words to describe the pain and grief we are feeling."

The family said Muru-Teutau represented the New Zealand Māori Under-18 rugby side and was a member of the Waitematā premier team.

"Our world has been turned upside down and inside out. This is supposed to be a holiday season of festive happiness, and instead, we are weeping and we are grieving."

An investigation into Saturday's crash is ongoing, police said.

The family has asked for media to respect their privacy.