As stated by Detective Inspector Rhys Johnston, Northland Police:
Yesterday evening at around 6:10pm, Police received a number of a calls from members of the public who reported a man walking along the centre of Bayley’s Coast Road in Dargaville.
Members of the public reported having nearly hit the man and that he was seen swinging a pipe. One person even stopped and spoke with the man to say that the dark clothing he was wearing made it hard for motorists to see him.
The rural road is unlit so there was low visibility.
A Police unit has attended and located the man in the middle of the road. As Police have driven past him, he has hit the patrol car with the pipe. The Police car then completed a U-turn and parked on the side of the road.
They have attempted to engage in conversation with the man who has refused to comply with their requests to get off the road.
The man has then started walking across to the other side of the road away from our officers and into the path of an oncoming vehicle.
Police have immediately provided medical assistance until ambulance staff arrived but sadly the man has died a short time later.
Next-of-kin notifications are still underway but we can confirm the deceased was a 21 year old man.
Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely difficult time and we will be ensuring they are supported.
This was a very upsetting incident for all involved, including our officers who were attempting to try and assist this man to safety and we are ensuring they are being offered welfare.
We would also like to acknowledge that this was a traumatising incident for the driver of the vehicle and they are being supported by Police.
Police are investigating the incident and as is standard procedure we have self-referred this matter to the IPCA. We have also advised WorkSafe.