Two drivers who ran over
Israel Jack as he lay on a Bay of Plenty highway have been
interviewed by police.
The 20-year-old was found dead on Te Ngae Rd at 4.25am on
August 18. He had been hit by two cars as he lay on the
What he was doing there is one of the many unanswered
questions surrounding his death, which police are now
treating as suspicious.
Detective Senior Sergeant Zane Smith said the drivers of both
cars had since been spoken to. The first driver had only
recently contacted police after seeing reports of the death
in the media.
"Because of the area and their position on the road they just
haven't appreciated that it was actually a person that
they've hit," Mr Smith said.
The second driver returned to the scene immediately after
hitting the young man.
"They're very upset and traumatised by what happened."
Mr Smith would not say whether Mr Jack was thought to have
died as a result being hit by the cars or whether he had died
"For operational reasons I cannot discuss the results of the
forensic post mortem."
He said all the uncertainty was incredibly difficult for Mr
Jack's family. "This is a young man with a very loving
family, a large circle of extended friends and family, who
need and deserve some answers."
His tangi was held on Thursday.
CCTV footage of Mr Jack was captured at a petrol station
about 4.20am. Just five minutes later his body was found
about 1.4km away.
Mr Smith said it was unclear how he had managed to travel
that distance in such a short space of time. His baseball cap
was on a fence post about 300m from his body and police were
yet to establish who put it there.
Mr Smith believed the community held the key to finding out
"I think there are people out there who have that little bit
of information that they may not think is important but which
is important to us. Until we speak to them we won't be able
to ascertain the value of that information."
Anyone with information was urged to contact Rotorua police
on (07) 348 0099 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.