Driver dead after ute goes into West Coast river

A man has died after his ute went into the Wanganui River near the West Coast township of Harihari this morning.

A police spokesman said the vehicle went into water off Wanganui Flat Rd about 9.15am.

The driver was found dead in the vehicle, they said.

"Police Search and Rescue teams are working to recover the body."

A dog was found at the scene but it was not yet clear if it belonged to the driver, they said.

A witness said two duck shooters saw a grey flat-deck ute fail to stop at a stopbank and enter the river.

He said police took over from volunteer firefighters as there had been a fatality.

The long road passes through farmland before it stops at a T-junction next to the river.

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