31 Mar 2012

Spate of North Island road deaths tragic, say police

3:32 pm on 31 March 2012

Police say it is tragic that nine people have needlessly died on North Island roads in less than 48 hours.

The victims died in five separate accidents since Thursday night, four of them collisions.

In one of them, a two-car head-on smash in Wellington on Friday that claimed two lives, police say one vehicle was travelling on the wrong side of the motorway.

That crash, on State Highway 1 between Tawa and the Churton Park turn-off about 8.40pm, left another person in a critical condition.

Police acting road manager Superintendent Rob Morgan says nine deaths is tragic and disappointing, considering the overall toll had been dropping.

Just after midnight on Saturday, a person was killed when a car crashed at Kaukapakapa near Auckland.

On Friday afternoon, a man and a woman were killed when two vehicles collided in a crash near Palmerston North on State Highway 56.

Two people were killed when their car rolled on State Highway 5 in Rangitaiki near Taupo early on Friday morning.

Three others were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

In Tauranga on Thursday evening, two men were thrown from their car when it swerved off McClarens Falls road, and hit a tree about 7pm.

Police say a 43-year-old man died at the scene and a 42-year-old man died later in hospital.