The wreckage of a car crash that killed 18-year-old Oliver Steven Mills lay unnoticed for up to nine hours in a water-filled ditch early yesterday morning.
Police said it appeared the car had "left the road, flipped and came to rest in a water-filled ditch" on Rhodes Rd at Tai Tapu, south of Christchurch, between 1am and 7am.
A passing motorist noticed the vehicle upside down in the ditch about 10.30am and the local teenager was found inside.
Police said there was no indication any other vehicles were involved in the crash.
"Enquiries are continuing, and ... it is not yet known whether alcohol or speed were factors in the crash. Road conditions were very wet at the time," police said.
"It appears the car he was driving left the road, flipped and came to rest in the water-filled ditch."