Two people have been confirmed dead in two crashes this morning in Wairarapa River and Bay of Plenty.
One man and three others were wounded after the car, an old model of Holden Commodore, they were riding went off road and plunged into the Wairarapa River.
Police were alerted of the crash off Paierau Rd, about 7 kilometres north of Masterton at 4am on Saturday. According to acting sergeant Tony Matheson, of Masterton Police, the car went around the corner and then through a wire fence before hitting a concrete abutment and crashing.
The three people wounded, who are in their late 20s and early 30s, escaped the sinking car by climbing from the roof as they were lifted them to safety. They were all taken to Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton for treatment.
The helicopter’s winch operator said that it was one of the hardest callouts he has ever experienced. “If you can imagine the smallest possible space, I had to try and get our paramedic onto that roof as well without knocking them into the river from a height of about 80 foot,” said winch operator Julian Burn.
“If you can imagine the smallest possible space, I had to try and get our paramedic onto that roof as well without knocking them into the river from a height of about 80 foot,” he added.
The body of the 35-year-old was found to a bridge near where the car wreckage was found.
“It’s just a tragic event for the family and his friends,” said Mr Matheson.
The body of a 35-year-old man from Lower Hutt was found next to the bridge, a short distance from where the car was almost completely submerged.
The cause of the crash is still unknown, but police said that speed could be a factor.
Meanwhile, reports say that another person is believed to have died in Bay of Plenty after a car rolled on State Highway 2 near Pukehina.
According to The Herald, two other passengers trapped in the car were extracted by firefighters.