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A woman in her late 40s died last night when her car hit a power pole on the East Coast.
Police, fire crews from the Patutahi volunteer brigade and Gisborne, along with St John Ambulance and power faults staff were called out about 7pm.
The woman's car failed to take a corner at Patutahi, 15km inland from Gisborne, and smashed side-on into the concrete power pole.
The impact brought down the pole and powerlines and the car was extensively damaged.
"The point of impact between the car and the pole was right in the middle of the driver's side door," said Senior Station Officer John Haggland.
"The lady didn't stand a chance."
Police said the danger caused by the fallen power lines prevented immediate rescue attempts. However, it appeared the woman might have died instantly.
"The pole broke off at ground level and fell into a nearby paddock, with the lines down around the car," Mr Haggland said.
"It had been raining, everything was wet, and it was too risky for us to attempt to get inside the vehicle until faults staff arrived to isolate the power."
That happened about 15 minutes after the first emergency crews arrived.
St John Ambulance officers got inside the vehicle and pronounced the woman deceased.
"The woman's body was removed from the vehicle about two hours later,"
Mr Haggland said.
She was the sole occupant of the car.
"The cause of the crash is not known at this stage, although it was raining in the area at the time," police said.
The accident disrupted power supplies to the Patutahi area for some time.
Police are still advising next of kin and the woman's name has not yet been released.