Walker killed by ute near Ox­ford

Northern Outlook - - FRONT PAGE - KIM NUTBROWN

A pedes­trian was killed near Ox­ford on Wed­nes­day.

The man aged in his mid-50s was walk­ing along the sin­gle­lane De­pot Rd bridge when he was hit by a ute and thrown from the bridge into a riverbed.

Emer­gency ser­vices at­tended the se­ri­ous crash scene on the State High­way 72 bridge over the Eyre River af­ter re­ceiv­ing a call at 5.52am on Wed­nes­day.

Canterbury ru­ral area com­man­der In­spec­tor Peter Cooper said the man ‘‘for some rea­son’’ stepped onto the road into the path of an on­com­ing ute.

‘‘A pass­ing ve­hi­cle has col­lected him and thrown him quite a dis­tance … He was found in the riverbed.’’

Cooper said the nar­row bridge did not have a walk­ing path and there was no space for pedes­tri­ans, he said.

The ute driver stopped im­me­di­ately and was speak­ing with po­lice.

‘‘It’s just very sad and very tragic,’’ Cooper said.

Christchurch Trans­port Oper­a­tions Cen­tre spokes­woman Ja­nine Porter said the main road to Ox­ford was closed be­tween Wood­stock Rd and Wood­side Rd for sev­eral hours. It re­opened about 12pm on Wed­nes­day.

A Fire and Emer­gency New Zealand spokesman said two Ox­ford crews had helped po­lice at the scene. The po­lice se­ri­ous crash unit is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cir­cum­stances of the crash.

Some peo­ple in the Ox­ford area have taken to so­cial me­dia call­ing for a pedes­trian lane to be added to the bridge.

Con­sta­ble Aaron Camp­bell from Ox­ford po­lice said as far as he is aware the bridge is not com­monly used by pedes­tri­ans and he said it is ac­cessed from a 100km per hour state high­way so it’s not a safe walk­ing route.

He said if peo­ple in the area are go­ing to be walk­ing or run­ning in the dark morn­ings or evenings they should take care.

‘‘High vis cloth­ing and a head­light is im­por­tant, the onus is on the pedes­trian to en­sure they are seen.’’

The cor­don near the scene of a crash where a pedes­trian was killed near Ox­ford on Wed­nes­day.

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