Adam Dear's vehicle submerged in the Kawarau River.
A Queenstown man says he feels lucky to be alive after
his ute plunged 40 metres off a bridge and landed upside-down
in the Kawarau river near Arrowtown.
Adam Dear, who was towing a trailer behind his vehicle on
Monday, told Radio New Zealand he began fishtailing when he
braked to slow down on the Gibbston highway as he returned
His ute then mounted the barrier on the Victoria Bridge and
"It started to slow down and I kept thinking it's going to be
the last roll and it's going to stop but then it rolled
again,' he said.
Water rushed in when the vehicle hit the river and he wasn't
able to see anything when everything went pitch-black.
He got his seatbelt off and pushed his way out of a window
and through mud and water to reach the surface.
"All of a sudden I was underwater, just completely submerged
... I just thought I've got to get out."
He estimated was underwater for about 20 seconds.
Mr Dear needed a few stitches, but other than that suffered
only whiplash, bruises and grazes.
"I'm definitely the luckiest man in Queenstown I think," he
"The seatbelt obviously saved me".
Arrowtown fire station station manager Greg Potter said
yesterday that emergency workers were amazed he survived the
He called it a miraculous escape.
"How the hell he got out, we're still shaking our heads," he
"That man should go and buy a Lotto ticket, but he hasn't got
any luck left I don't think".