22 Dec 2018

Four killed in road tragedies within 24 hour period

8:15 pm on 22 December 2018

Four people have been killed in road tragedies within a 24-hour period and others seriously injured after a rash of serious crashes, as increased holiday traffic hits highways.

One person died and one has been airlifted to hospital after a van crashed on Mt Cook Rd this afternoon.

Photo: Google

Police have confirmed one person died, one has been airlifted to hospital and four others were injured after a van rolled on the road leading to Aoraki Mt Cook Village, north of Twizel.

Earlier, one person was killed after a car went over a bank on Bossu Road in Canterbury's rural Ōkuti Valley at midday today.

Another person was killed in a crash early this morning near Tauranga.

And emergency services are at the scene of a two-vehicle crash near Clutha, which has closed the road.

Further north, one person was critically injured after a car hit a moped at Ōtaki, north of Wellington.

Motorists in the Wellington region were also held up when a bus caught fire on State Highway 1 at Porirua, closing the northbound lane as holiday makers tried to leave the area.

And in Waikato - the expressway was closed this morning as police dealt with an incident on an overbridge, causing congestion.

The expressway has since opened.

A man died in Christchurch after crashing his vehicle on the Southern Motorway at approximately 9pm on Friday, In total, four people had died in car crashes in the last 24 hours.

Police national manager of road policing, Steve Greally, said the deaths were deeply saddening.

He urged drivers to wear their seatbelts, stay sober and well-rested, and drive to the conditions, to prevent futher deaths.

The holiday road toll period doesn't begin until 4pm on Christmas Eve, and finishes at 8am on 3 January.

Last summer 12 people died on our roads during the holiday official road toll period, and 19 the summer before.

Road fatality white cross

Photo: RNZ

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