Police have named the Dunedin man who died early this morning after crashing his courier van into a power pole near Lawrence.

He was Gavin George Anderson, aged 66.

The crash, on State Highway 8 less than 1km south of the South Otago town, happened about 5.15am and brought down electricity lines around his vehicle.

The driver died at the scene.


Senior Constable Robert Wallace, of Lawrence, said Mr Anderson was the sole occupant of the van.

Power to the township was cut, but was fully restored by about 1.45pm.

Otago Power Services staff worked to make the lines safe by 7.30am, allowing some access to the wreckage for emergency services.

Lawrence and Waitahuna volunteer fire brigades, police, New Zealand Transport Agency, and Otago Regional Council staff all attended the scene.

Police said a scene examination was delayed due to hazardous substances leaking from the vehicle, thought to be paint stripper or a similar substance, but that was cleared by lunch time.

The road was reopened at 2.30pm.