11 Mar 2016

Hitchhiker killed in car crash named

2:25 pm on 11 March 2016

Police have na-med the hitchhiker who was killed in a car crash in Hawkes Bay this morning, as they continue to search for the driver.

A police officer at a alcohol check point.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Hemi James Rapaea, 61, from New Plymouth was killed after being picked up by a driver whose car then rolled into a ditch on State Highway Two, south of Hastings, at about 3.20am.

Mr Rapaea was hitchhiking from Palmerston North to Napier before the crash.

Police are still searching for the driver, who fled the scene before emergency services arrived.

Ambulance arrived at the scene shortly after and administered CPR but it was unsuccessful.

It is not known how or why the car crashed and there were no other vehicles involved.

Police would like to hear from anyone who may have seen the crash or noticed a grey Ford Fairmont driving erratically on the highway early this morning.

They are also seeking sightings of anyone in the area, possibly on foot, who appears injured.

SH2 is closed at the crash scene and traffic is currently being diverted along Te Aute Trust Rd and through the township of Otane.