A combination of speed and alcohol played a part in an early morning fatal accident in Hawke's Bay today, police say.
Some of the volunteer firefighters who rushed to the scene, on state highway two at Te Hauke, south of Hastings, were friends of the dead man, Senior Sergeant Luke Shadbolt from Hastings police said.
He was identified as a 40-year-old Hawke's Bay man.
Speed and alcohol were thought to be factors in the crash and the man did not appear to be wearing a seat belt.
Next of kin were yet to be notified.
The crash, involving a single car, happened between 1am and 2.30am when the driver left the road on a stretch known as Te Aute hill.
He had been driving north towards Hastings.
Truck drivers found the car and notified emergency services.
An ambulance spokeswoman said the driver was dead at the scene.
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