A man died after plunging into the Mahurangi River, at Warkworth.
Observers tried to rescue a man who died in a car that crashed into a river north of Auckland on Saturday afternoon, an eye witness said.
The owner of Tahi Bar and Kitchen, Gareth Hedges, revealed he saw people jumping into the Warkworth Mahurangi River as they tried to free the driver from the sinking car after hitting a playground and falling into the water near the intersection of Baxter St and Queens St.
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“People jumped into the water to get the driver out, but they couldn’t get to him because the car was beside him with the driver’s side stuck in the mud,” recalls Hedges.
Hedges said he did not see the car plunge into the river but heard it “scream in the street” as it “slid” into the roundabout, through the playground and into the water.
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“We just walked across the street,” he said. “It was a scene of chaos.”
Hedges said it was extraordinary that none of the spectators were injured when the accident occurred.
“There are children in the playground and parents who see cars coming and pulling their kids out of the way,” he said.
Police were called to the scene just after 5 p.m., but by the time they managed to get into the car, they found the only occupant was dead, police said.
The Serious Accident Unit has been alerted and an investigation into the state of the accident is ongoing.