Woman dies in New Zealand mountain bike crash

Rider hit tree and landed in stream

A woman has died in New Zealand after crashing her mountain bike into a pine tree on a steep descent.

The woman, who has not been identified, was riding down a winding gully in Edgecumbe Park, Hamilton City when she missed a corner.

Police said it appeared she had realised her mistake, braked too late and careered into a dead tree which "clothes-lined" her.

She was thrown from her bike and landed face down in a shallow creek. Her body was found on Sunday morning by a teenage couple.

"At about 11.35am members of the public found a body in a creek at Edgecumbe Park, Whitiora, Hamilton City," officers said in a statement. "Close to where the body was located there was a bicycle, also in the water.

"Uniformed and CIB police officers attended the scene, and the initial investigation indicates that a cyclist has lost control going down a steep bank before hitting a tree and landing in the creek.

"Police are yet to establish the age or identity of the victim. The time and cause of death will not be known until the pathologist has completed their examination. There are no suspicious circumstances."

The woman, who is thought to be in her early 30s and of Maori or Pacific Island descent, was not wearing a helmet. The path was undergoing maintenance work and a sign at the top read: "Footpath closed". Police said the work had not contributed to the accident.

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