Fa­tal crash on SH3

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - Leighton Keith and Jane Matthews

Taranaki has recorded the worst num­ber of road deaths in nine years af­ter a driver was killed in a head-on crash early yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The col­li­sion, on State High­way 3 un­der the rail­way over­bridge near the in­ter­sec­tion with Rugby Rd, Tariki, south of In­gle­wood, was re­ported about 6.30am.

One of the driv­ers died at the scene while the other was taken by St John am­bu­lance to Taranaki Base Hospi­tal in a stable con­di­tion.

It was the 17th death on the re­gion’s roads in 2018 equalling the to­tal for 2009 with 25 days to go. In 2004, 19 peo­ple were killed in crashes on Taranaki roads.

Se­nior Con­sta­ble Doug Peach said the north­bound ve­hi­cle ‘‘for some un­known rea­son crossed the cen­tre­line and col­lided with the south­bound ve­hi­cle’’ but po­lice have not re­vealed what car the dead driver was trav­el­ling in.

The crash is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated by the po­lice Se­ri­ous Crash Unit and the high­way was closed while emer­gency ser­vices worked at the scene. Di­ver­sions were in place.

Taranaki area com­man­der In­spec­tor Keith Bor­rell said the death was a timely re­minder for driv­ers as the hol­i­day pe­riod ap­proached.

‘‘One per­son dy­ing on Taranaki’s or New Zealand’s roads is one too many,’’ Bor­rell said.

‘‘We don’t want an­other an­other fam­ily to be with­out a fam­ily mem­ber this Christ­mas due to an­other fatal­ity on our roads.’’

Bor­rell said po­lice wanted

every­body us­ing the roads to make a con­certed ef­fort to keep each other safe.

‘‘We want them to show re­spect for each road user and their right to get to their des­ti­na­tion safely. The de­ci­sions we make as a driver not only im­pact on our­selves but on ev­ery other road user as well.

‘‘Make sure you drive to the con­di­tions, wear your seat­belt, put your phone down and never drive when you are im­paired which in­cludes al­co­hol, drugs or fa­tigue.’’

He en­cour­aged any­one trav­el­ling long dis­tances to take reg­u­lar breaks and to share the driv­ing re­spon­si­bil­i­ties where pos­si­ble.

Bor­rell said po­lice would be out in force dur­ing the hol­i­day pe­riod pa­trolling the re­gion’s roads and try­ing to pre­vent fa­tal and se­ri­ous in­jury crashes but stressed of­fi­cers couldn’t do it alone.

‘‘We need the pub­lic’s help to achieve this.’’

Peach de­scribed the con­di­tions at the time of the crash as ‘‘treach­er­ous’’.

‘‘It was ap­par­ent to po­lice on the way to the crash that the pub­lic were not driv­ing to the con­di­tions,’’ he said.

There was a build up of wa­ter in the north­bound lane and ei­ther side of the over­bridge had or­ange warn­ing signs. Each sign had a lower sec­tion that could re­veal the word ‘flood­ing’, how­ever it was not dis­played at the time.

An­thony Mills, Ki­wiRail gen­eral man­ager op­er­a­tions – Lower North Is­land, said the bridge had been in­spected fol­low­ing the crash and had been cleared for use. ‘‘Fol­low­ing stan­dard prac­tice the first train to use the bridge trav­elled over it at a re­duced speed, but no on-go­ing re­stric­tions are ex­pected,’’ Mills said.


The col­li­sion took place on SH3 un­der the rail­way over­bridge near the in­ter­sec­tion with Rugby Rd, Tariki.

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