Police have arrested and charged a Methodist clergyman after his vehicle crashed into a motorbike during which the impact flung the victim in the air.
A local newspaper has identified the evangelical pastor as Rev Peni Lālahi.
The 62-year-old pastor from Tofoa has been charged with reckless driving causing grievous bodily harm.
‘Amanaki Hokafonu, 30, of Houma, Tongatapu was heading southbound when he crashed into a black van doing a U-turn after leaving a carpark on Taufa’ahau Rd.
Police reportedly said Hokafonu was in critical condition at Vaiola Hospital.
Photos of the victim, which appeared to have been taken at the hospital, had been shared by cousins and friends on social media.
They appeared to show Hokafonu was in a stable condition.
A cousin of the victim told Kaniva news Hokafonua moved to New Zealand when he was a young man and lived there permanently until a few years ago when he moved back to Tonga.
“Tongan police has denied social media reports it was a hit-and-run, saying the van’s driver parked off-screen and returned to help the injured man.”