Watch: Family of victim pay tribute at scene of fatal Timaru crash

The family of a teenager who died in the Timaru crash on Saturday have paid tribute to their cousin and friend.

Five Timaru boys, all aged 15 and 16 years old, were killed in the crash on Saturday evening after the car they were travelling in smashed into a power pole. One of them was in the car boot. The only survivor was the 19-year-old driver, who is now in hospital.

It happened just before 7:30pm at the Seadown Rd and Meadows Rd intersection in Washdyke, just north of Timaru. It's a known boy racing hotspot that police had already been out to earlier in the night following reports of careless driving.

The scene on Sunday still bore the scars of the horrific crash. Police say the car lost control at the intersection and eventually hit a power pole cutting the car clean in half. It was later found in two pieces 35 metres apart.

Kaleb Ewart and Meadow Bennett, who are cousins of a victim, visited the crash site on Sunday to pay tribute.

"It's definitely hard to see that something like that can [happen]. It's hard to think that they're gone," Ewart says.

The pair also took something from the site to remember their cousin and friend.

"A piece of the side guard of the car. I just picked it up because I thought no I don't have anything from [the victim], so, last memory from him," Bennett says.

Meadow Bennett and Kaleb Ewart.
Meadow Bennett and Kaleb Ewart. Photo credit: Newshub.

Aoraki area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin says the crash was completely avoidable.

"It is pretty clear that there were a number of contributing factors. Obviously speed, it appears alcohol may have been involved, and there were six people in the vehicle - there's only five lots of seatbelts," he says.

The tragedy is reverberating throughout the tight-knit community.

"I read stories across the country and it's always attached to another district, and this is the last thing I want to be doing, standing in front of a camera and talking about deaths from young people in my community. It really is heart-wrenching," says Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen.