staff and news service reports
updated 4/24/2011 1:31:11 AM ET 2011-04-24T05:31:11

When booze and a man fell off the back of a sport utility vehicle Sunday in Australia, passengers retrieved the alcohol but left their fellow rider on the road to die, according to police quoted by a national news agency.

The 31-year-old man from Rochester, Victoria, died after striking his head on the road, according to an Australian Associated Press story published by The Sydney Morning Herald.

The man fell out of the vehicle as it turned from Maude Road onto Nap Nap Road in Maude early Sunday in New South Wales. Several passengers in the rear of the ute and the driver did nothing to help him, AAP said.

But they did stop to pick up the fallen cartons of alcohol before driving off, police told AAP.

Emergency responders could not revive the man, whose name was was not released by authorities.

Police said the ute had Victorian registration plates QMK 277, dog cages on the rear tray and a spotlight on the roof.

The vehicle's registered owner may not have been the driver, officials said. 

The deceased man may not have known the other passengers in the vehicle, which left from the Maude Hotel, said NSW Traffic Services commander Joe Cassar.

"He may well have met them at the hotel, just before leaving," Cassar said.

Officials are trying to reach the ute occupants to talk to them, he said.

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