Despite safety warnings and pleas from police and motoring organisations for people to take care over the holiday weekend at least seven people have died and many more have been injured in 16 separate incidents, some of them from countries such as Germany and Saudi Arabia. The death toll however wasn’t as bad as it was over Anzac weekend when 14 people lost their lives, causing the National Road Policing manager, Superintendent Paula Rose to describe the roads as “killing fields“.
The fatalities this weekend started on Friday night and have occurred at
- SH 5 Near Reporoa, one person died and another was seriously injured. Shortly after the collision two more vehicles crashed into the wreckage and two more people were hurt.
- SH1 at Five Mile Bay, south of Taupo. A head on crash claimed two lives of two women at a spot where there had been numerous serious crashes, the last one only six weeks previously.
- Maungatapu Track in the Maitai Valley, near Nelson. A four wheeled drive rolled into a river killing the 16 year old driver Tod Woodman. Two other people were flown from the scene with minor injuries.
- SH6 at Coal Creek, Greymouth where a motorcyclist was killed when his bike crashed into a bridge.
- Lyttleton Avenue in Porirua where a woman died when she was hit whilst running alongside a bus.
- SH2 near Woodlands Road at Waihi where a van carrying eight people rolled. A Saudi Arabian man was was killed, one critically injured and the rest taken to hospital.
Injuries in other incidents included
- Two German tourists in their twenties who were injured when their van hit a bank then rolled onto its roof near Pelorus Bridge as they travelled from Nelson.
- A toddler and a motorcyclist who were critically injured in a collision on SH1 near Huntly.
- A crash between a truck and car on SH2 Pekapeka Road at Netherton.
- A driver who was injured when a rental car left SH2 at Rimutaka Hill, Upper Hutt and rolled down a bank,
- A car that rolled in the Manawatu Gorge.
- A woman received serious head injuries after she was thrown from her car whilst backing out of driveway in Manurewa.
- A child was badly injured when it ran out in front of a vehicle in Otara.
- A woman was seriously injured after being hit by a 4WD vehicle on a rural property west of Hokitika.
- 21-year-old quad bike rider suffered serious spinal injuries after falling from his vehicle on sand dunes at Muriwai Beach, north-west of Auckland. The incident came despite the Auckland Regional Council’s promise to crack-down on vehicle safety at the beach over the labour weekend following both deaths and injuries to both drivers and other beach users.
- SH1 northbound at Waikanae was blocked following a crash.