Road fixed af­ter wet weather dou­ble fa­tal crash

Horowhenua Chronicle - - NEWS - By SADIE BECK­MAN

A stretch of road north of Levin where two Malaysian tourists died in July was no­to­ri­ous for crashes un­til it was fixed not long af­ter the ac­ci­dent, a nearby res­i­dent says.

Evvon Le Fern Tiang was driv­ing a rented peo­ple-mover with her par­ents and other fam­ily mem­bers in the ve­hi­cle, when it slid out of con­trol and hit a tree on July 9th.

Both Tiang’s par­ents died as a re­sult of the crash, and she was con­victed on two counts of care­less driv­ing caus­ing death.

How­ever, Kevin O’Mal­ley, who lives next to the stretch of road where the crash oc­curred, said there had been sev­eral crashes within a few weeks at al­most ex­actly the same spot when the road was wet.

He said con­trac­tors had car­ried out work on the road since and there had been no fur­ther ac­ci­dents that he was aware of.

“All [the crashes] were in [ap­prox­i­mately] a 30m area, and all were af­ter it had rained.”

At the time of Tiang’s sen­tenc­ing, Judge Su­san Ed­wards said a “mo­ment of inat­ten­tion” caused Tiang to steer over the cen­tre line, and she then over-cor­rected the ve­hi­cle which fish­tailed and hit two trees.

“It was a mo­men­tary mis­judg­ment on your part,” she said. “It was care­less­ness at the very low­est end of the spec­trum.”

Tiang was con­victed and dis­qual­i­fied from driv­ing for 12 months for each of the charges. She re­turned to Malaysia toar­range fu­ner­als for her par­ents.

NZTA Sys­tems Man­ager Ross I’An­son said records showed since 2012 there were two crashes prior to Tiang’s, both non-in­jury.

“The NZ Trans­port Agency wa­ter­cut the ex­cess bi­tu­men af­ter the fa­tal crash as a pre­vi­ously iden­ti­fied and planned pro­gramme of works,” he said. “We are re­view­ing the data in this area to de­ter­mine if there is any ad­di­tional main­te­nance re­quired.”

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