Fa­tal crash un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - Leighton Keith

In­ves­ti­ga­tions are con­tin­u­ing into how two cars came to col­lide on a sec­tion of State High­way 3, re­sult­ing in the first death on Taranaki roads this year.

Sun­day af­ter­noon’s tragedy came af­ter the re­gion recorded its worst road toll in nine years in 2018 with 17 deaths, the high­est since 2009. The two-car crash oc­cured about 4.45pm on a bridge over the Nga­toru Stream on SH3 south of In­gle­wood, be­tween Dud­ley and Durham roads.

The driv­ers were the sole oc­cu­pants of both ve­hi­cles and had to be cut free from the wreck­age.

The sur­vivor, a 62-year-old fe­male, was taken to Taranaki Base Hospi­tal by St John am­bu­lance with mod­er­ate in­juries.

Se­nior Sergeant Rob­bie O’Keefe, road polic­ing man­ager, said it ap­peared a south­bound pink Toyota Passo had crossed on to the wrong side of the road and hit a north­bound car.

‘‘It has been seen to veer to the left then veer to the right then has crossed the cen­tre­line and hit a sil­ver Jaguar.

‘‘We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the

cause of the crash and try­ing to de­ter­mine what has caused the car to cross the cen­tre­line.’’

The driver who was killed had been trav­el­ling in the south­bound Toyota.

His name has not yet been re­leased.

Po­lice were ap­peal­ing for wit­nesses who saw the crash or ei­ther of the ve­hi­cles in­volved be­fore the col­li­sion.

O’Keefe de­scribed 2018 as an atro­cious year on Taranaki roads and said po­lice wanted to avoid a re­peat in 2019.

‘‘We all have to be aware of dis­trac­tions and drive to the speed limit and drive to the con­di­tions. We want a bet­ter year than last year. Ob­vi­ously it was a hor­rific year for road deaths and a lot of peo­ple lost loved ones.’’

Road­safe Taranaki co­or­di­na­tor Marion Webby said ev­ery­one needed to work to­gether to bring the road toll down.

Webby said if all driv­ers re­duced their speed by 5kmh it would make a huge dif­fer­ence to the out­come of crashes.

‘‘The speed you are trav­el­ling at when you are in­volved in an ac­ci­dent dic­tates how se­ri­ous the in­juries or the out­come of the crash is.’’

She said the or­gan­i­sa­tion was push­ing the mes­sage ev­ery­one makes mis­takes and wanted driv­ers to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their ac­tions and de­ci­sions.

The fe­male driver re­mains in a sta­ble con­di­tion in Taranaki Base Hospi­tal.

The po­lice Se­ri­ous Crash Unit is in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

It was the sec­ond fa­tal crash in New Zealand on Sun­day.

In Christchurch, three teenage boys were killed when a stolen car slammed into a tree and ex­ploded in a ‘‘huge ball of fire’’ shortly af­ter 11pm, not long af­ter po­lice aban­doned a chase.

STUFF

The driver of this car, a 62-year-old woman, sur­vived a two-car crash just south of In­gle­wood on Sun­day.

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