15 Jul 2019

Boy dies after vehicle crashes into Clyde riverbed

4:34 pm on 15 July 2019

A 9-year-old boy has died after the car he was in rolled on the Clyde River in Mid Canterbury yesterday morning.

The incident happened near Erewhon Station Hut.

Simon Duncan, the general manager of Garden City Helicopters which operates the Canterbury Westpac Rescue Helicopter, said at about 10am yesterday morning they were called to the Clyde River.

"Unfortunately a vehicle had rolled, swept away down stream, and rolled several times, fatally trapping a 9-year-old male," said Mr Duncan.

He said they were able to uplift three men from a nearby river bank, and extracted the child from the vehicle.

Mr Duncan said the crew attempted to resuscitate the boy, but were unsuccessful.

The three men were transported to Christchurch, where they received treatment for hypothermia and minor injuries.

Police said the Serious Crash Unit has examined the scene and the investigation into the crash was ongoing.

Mr Duncan said the fatal crash was one of three callouts on Sunday.

The Canterbury Westpac Rescue Helicopter also uplifted two adults and three children, who had been stuck on an island in the middle of the the Hawdon River overnight.

The family had been hiking, and had become trapped mid river, when river levels rose rapidly.

Mr Duncan said they had spent a cold and wet night on the river bed mid-stream with no shelter other than their pack liners.

They were returned to their vehicle uninjured.

At about 7pm in the evening, the Westpac Rescue Helicopter also rescued three men who had become stuck mid stream in the Waimakariri River. Two of the men had become stranded in the river in their vehicle, and the third had attempted to help them and also became stuck.

Mr Duncan said the three were taken to waiting Police on the river bank and had no injuries.