Police are asking for the public's help in tracing the movements of a Hamilton man before his body was discovered in a car found crashed in a stream.
Kyle Jason Sutherland, 26, was found in the red Chevrolet Blazer after the vehicle was discovered almost completely submerged in the stream on Matangi Rd, in the outskirts of Hamilton, at 7am today.
In a press release this afternoon, police said it appeared Mr Sutherland was travelling west when the crash occurred.
But they want to know more about his movements last night.
He was last seen about 7.15pm, when he left a relative's home. He indicated he was going to visit a friend in Matangi and possibly go to the supermarket.
Anyone who saw Mr Sutherland or his car, which although coloured red had a blue driver's door, should contact police.
Police also want to speak with Mr Sutherland's new flatmates in Hamilton, with whom he had only recently begun living with.
"Building a complete picture of the movements and actions of Kyle before the crash will assist us to understand what has caused the crash and help to provide some answers to the family."
Anyone with information should call Constable Wayne Stewart on (07) 858 6200.
'Was always up for a laugh'
Friends of Mr Sutherland have paid tribute, remembering him as a guy who "was nice to everybody".
Mr Sutherland is believed to have been driving his father's Chevrolet Blazer four-wheel-drive when it lost control on Matangi Rd, went off the road and off an approximate 4m high embankment before crashing into a stream.
It remains unclear what time the incident happened but a neighbour told emergency services she recalled hearing a loud noise about midnight. Police were notified about 7am.
The stream is a tributary of the Waikato River at a bridge near the intersection of Matangi Rd and State Highway 26.
A tow truck was used to pull the vehicle out of the bush, tree and scrub-laden stream.
The victim's father was at the scene most of the morning after confirming to police that his son failed to turn up for work and watched from his car as the Chevrolet was winched out of the water, before going over and identifying his body.
Police posted on Facebook that speed was a factor in the crash.
"We also ask that you take care on the roads. With the colder mornings and heavy fog we have witnessed people not driving to the conditions, and once again speed has contributed to a crash that has ended someone's life, and affected many others."
Mr Sutherland's sister, Jade, posted a moving tribute to her brother on Facebook this morning.
She thanked friends and family saying she wished she had a chance to tell him how much she loved him.
"Thanks everyone for the love and support at this difficult [time]. His body has been found. Love you so much Kyle Sutherland wish I had got to tel you that xx" she posted."
The victim's friends, Nicole Sullivan and Marc Mounsey, turned up to the crash scene and were shocked to learn of his death.
They said Mr Sutherland, aged in his mid 20s, "was always up for a laugh".
"He was into cars, he wasn't into sport, just cars and drinking and having a good time," Mr Mounsey said.
"He was never one to make trouble with anyone, if the trouble started he would always get out of there, you know."
Miss Sullivan, who confirmed Mr Sutherland was one of five siblings, said he had gone out with her sister for many years before they broke up about two years ago. Despite the break up the pair remained friends, she said.
Mr Mounsey said they enjoyed Mr Sutherland's company "for the type of guy that he was, you know, the kind of attitude that he had".
"He was nice to everybody. He was just always happy or always smiling."
Another close friend posted of her grief on Facebook.
"The pain of losing a loved one is a pain that you can't explain. Kyle Sutherland, you were one cool dude. I remember all the nights Jade and I would annoy you and play guitar hero for hours on end. I still can't believe this has happened and I don't think I will for a while.
"My heart goes out to my best friend Jade Sutherland and the rest of her family ... I am so sorry for your loss and sorry I'm not there for you all," she posted.
Earlier, Mrs Grace says the car was travelling towards Hamilton when it left the road between a power pole and a bridge and ended up in the stream below.
She also confirmed a female officer who was one of the first to the scene suffered a shoulder injury as she tried to determine if anyone was in the vehicle. She was taken to Waikato Hospital but was in a comfortable condition.
Police noted on Facebook that she "may have to drive a desk for a little while".