A popular snow groomer from Otago's Cardrona Alpine Resort has died in a fatal crash, devastating his co-workers.

Tom Campbell died when his car went over the side of Mai Mai Creek bridge, shortly before 5pm last night.

Senior sergeant Paul Watson, of Greymouth, said Campbell's vehicle had crashed off the bridge and landed upside down in the relatively shallow stream bed.

"It sounds like he's left the bridge and gone into the riverbed," Watson said.


There was nothing the emergency services attending the crash could do.

"I understand the person was found deceased on arrival," he said.

The Serious Crash Unit was examining the scene today.

Watson said the ski field worker was travelling south at the time, apparently on his way to Wanaka.

Fox Glacier Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief John Sullivan told Stuff the spot was "notorious" and was the third crash on the bridge in the past 15 months. The broken wooden side rails had still not been replaced after the last crash there six months ago.

"It's a bad spot because (motorists) come down a hill on to this one-lane bridge and you're looking straight into the setting sun," Sullivan said.

New Zealand Transport Agency regional performance manager Pete Connors confirmed the rail was damaged in a recent crash.

"The transport agency is currently designing permanent side protection to replace the wooden rails for this bridge," Connors said.


"In the meantime, the bridge's speed limit had already been reduced to 30km/h until this work is completed."

NZTA would review the safety of the bridge today to see if any additional measures could be taken until the new side protection was installed later this year, he said.