Two killed in head-on smash
Waikato police investigating a crash that claimed two lives at Piarere are urging people who first come across crashes not to interfere with the scene.
They would also like to hear from anybody who may have witnessed the crash on a corner on State Highway 29 near Piarere Hall.
Acting Waikato road policing manager Senior Sergeant Jeff Penno said Serious Crash Unit investigators were still working to establish the cause of the crash between an west bound Honda Accord and a east bound Volkswagen hatchback.
‘‘Initial indications are that the Honda was on the wrong side of the road as the vehicles approached a corner on SH29 and the vehicles collided by Piarere Hall, about 1400m from the intersection with SH1.’’ ‘‘Two people travelling as passengers in the Volkswagen died of their injuries, they were Rose-Ana Leigh Mitchell, 21, and Eruera Eriata Munro, 22, both of Tauranga.’’
Mr Penno said the front seat passenger in the Honda suffered critical chest and abdomen injuries while three other people, including both drivers suffered moderate injures.
‘‘All four were flown to Waikato Hospital by helicopter, we understand the deceased had been returning from an indoor netball game in Hamilton.’’
While those first at the scene did their best to stabilise the injured prior to emergency services arriving at one point a bystander thought he was doing the right thing by clearing debris from the road with a bucket equipped tractor.
‘‘In the case of serious injury or fatal crashes they need to be investigated and you really don’t want traffic driving through the scene as it puts first responders at risk.
‘‘ In addition to that clearing debris from the road removes items from where they fell making it harder from an investigator’s perspective. We are acutely aware of the need to get the balance right between accurate investigation of road trauma and freeing up closed highways.’’ Mr Penno said police needed to carry out an accurate investigation to attribute culpability.
‘‘ To do this we need crash scenes to be left as near to how they looked at the time of the crash as possible.’’
Fatal: The scene of a car crash near Piarere which claimed the lives of two people.