The crew of the freight train that hit and killed a woman walking her pet dog have been given time off work.

The incident occurred on Monday about 3.45pm and police responded soon after members of the public saw a body lying by the railway tracks, 200 metres south of the Marine Parade and Georges Drive intersection.

Motorist Hayley Seddon, 24, was first on the scene, after noticing a body wearing a bright yellow jacket lying next to the tracks as she drove along the busy road into Napier.

Miss Seddon said she phoned for help and checked the woman but she had died. While waiting for emergency services, she cared for the woman's black and white jack russell which had suffered an injured face in the collision.


KiwiRail senior communications adviser David Miller said the crew of the south-bound freight train had been given time off in the wake of the incident.

"They will be off for several days."

He said the driver would not have been aware something had happened and it was not until the train was called to a halt by police after it crossed the Ngaruroro River rail bridge approaching Clive, 4km further down the line.

Mr Miller said the incident was now in the hands of police who would, as part of their investigations, be speaking to the driver.

Police had still not released the name of the woman last night.

Police Senior Sergeant Nick Dobson said the matter had been referred to the coroner.

Meanwhile, comments on Hawke's Bay Today's Facebook page extended condolences to the victim's family.

"She was such a lovely active lady," one commenter said, "much love to the family at this sad time."

"She was a beautiful lady with a beautiful spirit with a crack-up sense of humour," another said.