Police have released the name of an 84-year-old man who died in a freak accident at a Bay of Plenty rubbish dump on Sunday.
Henning Petersen, of Waihi, was dropping off rubbish at the Waihi Refuse Station about 10.20am when he got into trouble.
"What we know is that while reversing at the refuge centre on Sunday morning shortly after 10am, Mr Petersen has got into difficulty and as a result lost control of his car. During the course of this loss of control he has been partially ejected from the vehicle and suffered life-threatening injuries,'' Inspector Marcus Lynam said.
"Just how Mr Petersen suffered his injuries is at the centre of the serious crash unit investigation.''
Because the site was accessible to the public the death was being treated as a road fatality, raising Waikato's road toll to 44 deaths from 40 crashes.
Transfer station staff member Alan Irvine saw the accident unfold in front of him.
"He's gone to reverse his vehicle and he's opened his door to see where he's reversing and he's put his foot down on the accelerator too hard. The car spun around and threw him out of the car.
"He was very lucky that the car didn't run over him. He was dragged for about a metre before he was totally thrown out.''
Mr Irvine said the man, who visited the dump about once a fortnight, had nasty cuts and grazes.