A specialist dive team is making their way to Hamilton Police Station in the city to continue to conduct follow up enquiries following a vehicle crashing through a barrier on a bridge and plunging into the Waikato River overnight.
Waikato Road Policing Manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, says exactly what occurred is still being pieced together and officers had a number of people they still needed to speak to.
“Initial indications are an east bound vehicle on Wairere Dr, that would have been crossing the Pukete Bridge heading towards River Rd, crossed the centreline and hit a concrete barrier before rebounding on to the correct side of the road, crashing through a barrier and dropping into the Waikato River.
“There was poor visibility at the time and despite emergency services converging on the scene and having a Police rescue boat in the water, the vehicle has still not been located.”
Leo says the Police Specialist Dive Squad would be in Hamilton this morning with a view of conducting a search of the river this morning.
“We have spoken to five people so far, none of who actually saw the crash however one man is pretty sure he saw a person escape the vehicle in the water and swim to shore but we’ve been unable to confirm this.
“At the same time we haven’t heard anything from anyone who has a loved one unaccounted. If this is the case Police want to hear from you. Equally important, if you were involved in this crash and made it out we need to hear from you as we work to establish how many people were in the vehicle.”
While a scene guard remains on the bridge the Pukete Bridge is currently open to traffic both ways.
“This may change later in the day depending on the needs of searchers however we will publish any changes to traffic management through media alerts and traffic phone lines.”
Source: Waikato Police.