A 62-year-old man has died after a crash in the Far North early this morning.

Police said the sole occupant and driver of a small hatchback had swerved to avoid hitting a small animal on State Highway One at Umawera, north of Kaikohe.

According to police, the man had swerved to avoid a small animal, possibly a possum or a hedgehog. The vehicle ran into a roadside drain and rolled.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.36am.


The driver was conscious and responsive when emergency services arrived, but died while being treated in a St John ambulance, before a rescue helicopter arrived from Whangarei.

Police in Kaitaia were talking to his family this morning, and had not released his name.

The Okaihau Fire Brigade was first of the emergency services on the scene.

Chief fire officer Andrew Graham said the driver and sole occupant was out of the car and talking when they arrived.

Firefighters offered first aid until St John Ambulance arrived and prepared a helicopter landing site next to the Umawera Hall. However, the driver died before he could be transferred to the waiting helicopter.

Elsewhere in the Far North the Kawakawa Fire Brigade was called out about 12.50pm on Saturday when a car crashed into the VIP Superette after the driver's footwear got stuck on the accelerator. Damage was minor and no one was injured.

The Far North's toll for the year so far now stands at 10, and Northland's at 24.