Waharoa fatal

Waharoa fatal

Waikato

09 September 2007

Police believe the death of a man struck by a car as he lay on the road outside Matamata was a tragedy that could have been avoided.

A man's body was found on Waharoa West Rd, east of Matamata about 9.30pm, the driver of the car had no cell phone and went back to Matamata to call Police.

In the interim the man's body was found by the occupants of another vehicle who also phone Police.

It is understood the dead man had been drinking prior to his death.

Though not yet formally identified Police believe they know his identity.

They believe him to be the same man officers stopped, walking between Waharoa and Matamata, about 9pm last Thursday night.

At the time the 20-year-old man was spoken to by Police about how dangerous his actions were to his own safety.

The man found dead last night was wearing clothes identical to those of the man picked up on Thursday night.

Detective Sergeant Rod Carpinter of Matamata- Piako CIB said it wasn't clear at this stage how the man came to be lying on the road before he was hit by the car.

"The driver of the car has been very co-operative with Police," said Mr Carpinter.

Mr Carpinter said Police wanted to hear from anyone who may have seen a man walking or lying on Waharoa East Rd, near the New World Supermarket around 9pm.

Last night's incident was certainly not being treated as a hit and run and Police were happy with the assistance given by the driver of the car.

"It's a pity the degree of co-operation shown in this case wasn't the same as another case we're investigating, the death of Regan O'Donoghue."

In that incident 18-year-old Regan was struck down by a green station-wagon as he walked home on the right hand side of the road from a function at the Elstow Hall on July 01.

The station-wagon failed to stop and Police are convinced those in the car know that they had struck and killed someone.

Police believe whoever hit Regan had been at the same function that night, no arrests have been made in connection with his death.

END