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Police believe alcohol was a factor in a crash last night that claimed the lives of four men from northern Hawke's Bay.
Emergency services were alerted early this morning to a vehicle that had crashed through a fence and into a paddock on Waikare Rd, off SH2 near Putorino. All four men in the vehicle were dead when police and ambulance staff arrived.
Senior Sergeant Sarah Stewart said the occupants of the Mitsubishi Pajero had been drinking at a local hotel last night. Police are still trying to ascertain what time the crash occurred.
The four men aged 47, 64, 42 and 48 all lived in the area and were working as farm hands. Their names will not be released until all families have been notified.
Ms Stewart said initial investigations indicated the vehicle lost control on a slight crest on the unsealed road, slid across the road, flipped and crashed through a fence and landed on its wheels in a paddock.
Three of the men were thrown from the vehicle. It is not yet known if anyone in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt.
Police are keen to hear of sightings of the green-grey four-wheel-drive in the Putorino or Raupunga areas over the last 24 hours. Anyone with information about the vehicle or the crash should contact Napier police on 06 8310700.