Mystery deepens in Kaituna crash

Police divers have failed to locate the driver or occupants of a car which crashed into the Kaituna River. File photo.

A car which crashed into the Kaituna River on Friday night has been recovered, but its driver and any other occupants have failed to surface.

Police divers were called in to scour the river over the weekend, assisted by the Maketu Coastguard.

A police spokesperson says the investigation is ongoing.

“A search of the riverbed has been undertaken, but so far nothing has been found. Patrols are doing shoreline searches, but we're still trying to determine the location and number of any occupants.”

She could not say if the car was stolen, or if the registered owner had been located.

Maketu Coastguard president Shane Beech says the Coastguard became involved soon after the incident occurred.

“We were actually on the water at the time, so we were at the scene in five or ten minutes,” he says.

“We've been searching out over the Kaituna bar as well, and along the coast from Papamoa through to Maketu.”

Shane says the Coastguard have been assisting police as required, and he's waiting to hear if they'll be needed again today.

He says at this stage they're still treating it as a proper search and rescue.

“We've had a few cars go off the road and end up in the river over the years. Some of the drivers had to be freed, some didn't. Every case seems to be different.”



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Silhouetted sunrise on July 14th. Photo: Janet Hetherington

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