Two dead in Kaeo crash
Two people, believed to be German tourists, died and a third was seriously injured in a two-vehicle crash on SH10 north of Kaeo on Saturday afternoon.
A light truck and a Honda people-mover collided shortly after 2pm, with the impact tearing the front off the peoplemover,and the remainder of the vehicle wedged in the front of the truck cab.
Police, Fire and St John crews from across the Mid North responded, with fire appliances dispatched from Kaeo, Mangonui and Kerikeri.
The occupants of the peoplemover died at the scene, while the truck driver, from the Kaeo area, was trapped and initially in a critical condition with significant leg injuries.
Firefighters cut the doors off the cab and used strops to pull the vehicles apart to free him.
His condition improved during the rescue, and he was responding to his rescuers. He was flown to Auckland Hospital by a Northland rescue helicopter.
Firefighters also cut the doors and roof off the peoplemover but its occupants could not be saved.
Sergeant Haydn Korach said it appeared the Honda had been travelling south when it crossed the centreline.
The driver of the northbound truck had tried to avoid a collision. Mr Korach praised the “massive effort” of the paramedics and firefighters as they tried to save the victims, and commended the teamwork between all three services.
SH10 was closed between Matauri Bay Rd and the Whangaroa Bridge for more than four hours.
The scene was blessed by Fire and Emergency iwi liaison officer and Kawakawa Chief Fire Officer Wayne Martin.