The mystery of what killed motorist Rutger Hale near Lake
Hawea last year remains unsolved after scientific testing
failed to provide any significant clues, police say.
Particulates from the object which smashed through the
windscreen of 22-year-old Mr Hale's Subaru on State Highway 6
early on October 24 were provided to both Environmental
Science and Research and the University of Otago's geology
department for analysis.
The material was taken from interior sections of the car
which the object came in contact with when it struck and
fatally injured Mr Hale, who was driving the car, before
exiting through the back window.
The object was never found, despite an extensive search of
Detective Senior Sergeant Malcolm Inglis said yesterday
information gained from tests on the material had provided
little new information to ''progress the case to any
The tests revealed the unknown object was made of, or
contained, fragments of stainless steel of a common grade
used in vehicle parts and other everyday items, such as tools
The object also contained common minerals naturally occurring
in soil or dirt in the South Island.
''The stainless steel is very common and really it takes us
no further. It could be found in numerous items,'' Det Snr
Sgt Inglis said.
The lack of answers provided by the scientific tests was
''really frustrating from a police perspective''.
''We can't get a conclusion or a finality for the family so
that they know what's caused this tragedy. They would like to
have closure around how Mr Hale came to die, or from what.''
Det Snr Sgt Inglis, who is looking after the case while
inquiry head Detective Sergeant Brian Cameron is on leave,
contacted Mr Hale's mother in Auckland yesterday morning to
inform her of the test results.
''With the death of her son, she is still very upset and
would certainly like to progress things further, which we are
unable to do at this stage.''
He also spoke with Mr Hale's Alaskan partner Danielle Oylear,
who still lives and works in the Lake Hawea area, where the
couple had moved shortly before the accident.
Ms Oylear was in the car at the time of the accident and took
the steering wheel while lifting Mr Hale's foot off the
''Danielle obviously was there and it's still very raw to her
and she would like to know what happened exactly, on that
Neither Mr Hale's family members nor Ms Oylear could be
reached for comment yesterday.
Det Snr Sgt Inglis said the case remained open and he issued
another plea for anyone with information relating to other
vehicles or anything else in the area at the time of the
accident to come forward.
Investigation findings would now be referred to the coroner.