2 Jan 2015

Police trying to identify river crash couple

6:32 am on 2 January 2015

The police are still trying to formally identify a couple who died when their car plunged through a bridge and into a south Westland river on Tuesday.

The car which crashed into the Wanganui River on the West Coast is removed from the water.

The car which crashed into the Wanganui River on the West Coast is removed from the water. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

The couple, who are thought to have been Korean, were on a tour of the South Island.

Their red 2014 Toyota Corolla was heading south from Greymouth on State Highway 6 when it went on to a one-lane bridge and crashed through the barrier, plunging into the Wanganui River north of Harihari.

The car was retrieved from the river yesterday after being submerged by floodwaters for two days.

West Coast area commander John Canning said two bodies were found in the car, and they were believed to be those of a tourist couple visiting New Zealand.

"Police are confident of the identities of the deceased but no information in relation to the pair will be released until formal identification has been completed and next of kin notified," the spokesperson said.

West Coast Area Commander Inspector John Canning.

West Coast Area Commander Inspector John Canning. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

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