The 9-year-old boy killed after a vehicle was swept away in a Mid-Canterbury river was Kayde Anderson from Dunsandel, Canterbury.

Police said the investigation into the crash was ongoing.

Kayde was in the vehicle with three adult males when their vehicle got into trouble in the Clyde River at about 10am on Sunday morning.

The river is in the Ashburton Lakes area.

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Garden City Helicopters general manager Simon Duncan said a personal locator beacon was activated after the vehicle was "swept away and rolled several times downstream".

Duncan said the three adult males were airlifted back to Christchurch with minor injuries.

They underwent medical checks before speaking to police about the fatal incident.

The Ashburton Lakes area is about two hours inland from Christchurch.