Tributes flow for crash victim

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Friends have paid heartfelt tributes to an Indian man “everyone loved”, who was killed in a car crash near Queenstown.

Loved-ones have confirmed that Harpreet Singh (25), originally from Punjab, died after his car collided with a Southern Discoveries bus carrying 14 passengers on State Highway 6, near the Devil’s Staircase, on Sunday morning.

Mr Singh arrived in New Zealand seven years ago to study and moved to Queenstown earlier this year to continue working for Mitre 10 Mega after moving from the store’s Botany branch in Auckland.

His close friend Anish Mestry, who used to work with Mr Singh in Auckland, said he “respected everyone” and was loved by all who knew him.

“No matter how mischievous he was, he would never say no to a favour.

“Since the sad news it feels uneasy when I look at my uniform as it now reminds me of him. He was very close to me. More of a brother than a friend.”

Mr Mestry saw his friend for the last time when he visited Queenstown with his wife last month.

Another friend and former colleague of Mr Singh’s, Kritika Singh, said the news of his death was “heartbreaking”.”I wish this just was a bad dream and when I wake up it will be just a dream.

“I will remember his life and him as a person in a positive, happy way with a big smile, just like the one he used to have.”

Ms Singh added he was a joy to work with and it was an “honour to be his friend”.

Mr Singh was the sole occupant of the vehicle.

His body was reportedly taken to Invercargill after the crash and police are yet to release a formal identification.

The bus driver and passengers were not injured.

The collision happened less than 48 hours after a head-on crash on the same stretch of road, which left one man seriously injured and two people with minor injuries.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz