A specialist police search group from Christchurch, led by Senior Sergeant Paul Manhire (far left), scours the roadside for the mystery object which killed Rutger Hale while he was driving near Lake Hawea last week. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
A specialist Christchurch-based police search team has been
brought in to help in the hunt for a mystery object which
killed 22-year-old Rutger Hale, as he drove near Lake Hawea
Mr Hale was hit by the object which smashed through the
windscreen of the Subaru car in which he was travelling with
his Alaskan partner Danielle Oylear (26), on their way to
their dairy farming jobs in Hawea Flat.
Yesterday afternoon, the six-strong group, using metal
probes, began methodically combing the roadside at the site
of the accident.
The officer in charge of the group, Senior Sergeant Paul
Manhire, confirmed the team was looking for ''anything of
interest'' and would be searching an undefined area for the
rest of the day and again today.
Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron, who is heading the
investigation, was in Wanaka for police briefings yesterday
but could not be reached for comment. Following a postmortem
in Dunedin last Friday, Mr Hale's body was transported at the
weekend to his home town of Auckland, where his funeral will
Ms Oylear, who took the steering wheel and lifted Mr Hale's
foot off the accelerator pedal after he was hit, travelled to
Auckland with members of Mr Hale's family.
Mr Hale's great-uncle Pete Phillips, of Makarora, told the
Otago Daily Times he had spoken to police yesterday
and believed they still did not know what the object was.
The postmortem on Mr Hale had shown ''massive head trauma'',
Mr Phillips said.