1 Jan 2017

Holiday road toll rises to 18

4:11 pm on 1 January 2017

The road toll for the holiday period has risen to 18, after a truck driver died early this afternoon when his vehicle rolled in Whakatane.

Police directing traffic.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

Police said the truck was thought to have hit another vehicle before rolling on Thornton Rd about 12.30pm.

Two people in the other vehicle were being treated for moderate and minor injuries.

Elsewhere this morning, five people were injured in a two-car crash at Mangateparu in eastern Waikato. Two of them were in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital.

The road at the intersection of the Tahuna-Morrinsville Rd and Cameron Rd was expected to reopen about 5pm. Motorists should take State Highway 27 as an alternative route.

There were also two fatal crashes in the Far North overnight, each involving a car and a pedestrian. The crashes were unrelated.

The first happened on Pa Rd in Kerikeri just after 1am; the male pedestrian died at the scene.

About 2.30am a female pedestrian died in a crash on Oruru Rd, south of Taipa.

The road toll is now six higher than the whole of last year's holiday period.

This year's holiday period ends at 8am on 4 January.