12 Jan 2016

Man found in submerged car named

5:17 pm on 12 January 2016

Police have named the man whose body was found in a submerged car which crashed into a Southland river yesterday.

Te Iwiroa Manakura Te Hapuka Smith, 44, from Curio Bay was in the car which crashed into the Mataura River on Holz Road at 5.30am yesterday.

Police said initial inquiries with the assistance of Marine SAR and the Coastguard were unable to confirm if anyone was still in the vehicle, and the police dive squad was called in today.

The dive team entered the water at midday today and found Mr Smith's body in the vehicle.

"A serious crash investigation has been launched to determine how the vehicle came to be in the river."