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Drugs are believed to have been involved in an incident at a Raglan beach car park that left one person dead and another in hospital.
Fire and Emergency NZ shift manager Scott Osmond said the death had been classified as a medical event, while a police spokeswoman said it would be investigated by the coroner.
However, a second person in the car was taken to Waikato Hospital in a moderate condition, she said.
The New Zealand Herald has learned that drugs were believed to have played a part in the death, which was understood to be accidental.
Emergency services were called to the incident at Manu Bay about 3.30pm on Saturday.
Resident Bernard Brown lives in a house overlooking the reserve and the car had been parked near the boat ramp.
“I just heard the ambulance siren, that’s all.
“But there was another person in the car that got out, and must have rung the police.”
The vehicle involved was a grey SUV and was guarded by police cars.
Police did not have any other further details about what happened.