A man found dead on an East Coast road at the weekend had been struck by two vehicles, say police.

Ruatoria man Nelson Hari was found dead on Tapuaeroa Rd near Ruatoria early on Sunday morning. He had been walking after drinking with friends.

Police now believe the 25-year-old was hit by two vehicles and are looking for the second mystery vehicle, which they say will be damaged, that was travelling along the road just after midnight.

"We have completed our forensic examination of one vehicle and want help from the Ruatoria community to find a second vehicle," said Detective Sergeant Kevin Ford.


"The inquiry team want to hear from everyone who was on the Tapuaeroa Rd, or was travelling on SH35 from the Ruatoria turnoff to or from Te Araroa, at the time Mr Hari suffered fatal injuries."

He said the second vehicle would have travelled along the road between midnight and 12:20am on Sunday.

He appealed to the public to come forward if they had noticed a vehicle in the Ruatoria area in the past few days that had fresh damage.

"We believe the second vehicle we are looking for will have damage to the front of it," said Ford.

The post-mortem examination of Hari has been completed and his body has now been returned to his family.