A Tongan man dies after car hits tree in BOP

AUCKLAND: Police have yet to release the identity of the person who died when a car he was driving collided with a tree before bursting into flames in Bay of Plenty this morning.

But a cousin told Kaniva News the deceased was Tevita Pasikala who lived in Auckland.

The incident occurred on Thornton Rd, just north of Whakatane, about 6am, said Inspector Peter Raynes of the police northern communications centre.

The vehicle was engulfed in flames after it hit a tree head-on.

The driver, who was the only person in the car, was dead when emergency services arrived.

Firefighters had extinguished the flames and were assisting police with their investigation.

Sisifa Afu Tangi told Kaniva,  Pasikala’s grandmother and her mum “are sisters from Kolovai” and his father is from Longolongo in Tonga.