Two killed in head-on smash

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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