Rāhui lifted from Whanganui River following fatal car accident

By Jessica Tyson

The rāhui placed on the Whanganui River following a fatal car accident on Christmas Day has been lifted, police confirmed this morning.

The rāhui, preventing people from fishing and using the river, was imposed by local iwi after a four-wheel-drive vehicle had gone off the Victoria Avenue Bridge at 12.20am on Tuesday.

Later in the day, the body of a 17-year-old man was recovered from the waters by search and rescue teams.

Iwi spokesperson John Maihi says it was a sad start to Christmas Day.

“We give our greatest condolences to the family, we have offered them support and we are here to support them if they need.”

Facebook users have left comments on the local Wanganui Facebook page to show their support.

Allison Hollard wrote, “How devastating for the families involved to wake up to this news on Christmas morning. Love and thoughts are with you from us all.”

Jess Shaw said, “Thoughts and love to the families. To everyone else please drive safe.”

Others shared their support for emergency services who searched the river.

Johny Pa’a wrote it is, “so sad and heartbreaking condolences to the family and well done the emergency services and NZ police for their efforts.”

The investigation into the crash is ongoing and police would like to speak to any witnesses or individuals with information that may be of assistance.