26 Dec 2018

Five injured in horror Southland crash

11:58 am on 26 December 2018

By George Block for the Otago Daily Times.

Helicopters have been dispatched after five people were injured, two seriously, in a crash in Southland this morning.

A St John Ambulance in Paihia.

Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly

A police spokeswoman said emergency services were called to the two-car crash at the intersection of Isla Bank-Flints Bush Rd and Lindsay-Calcium Rd, which is about 35km northwest of Invercargill, just after 9am this morning.

A St John spokesman said two people sustained serious injuries in the crash.

One would be transported by rescue helicopter to Dunedin Hospital and the other would be transported to Southland Hospital in a second helicopter.

A further three people suffered moderate injuries and would be taken by road ambulance to Southland Hospital.

Firefighters were earlier working to free a person trapped in one of the cars.

Meanwhile yesterday, one man died after a ute crashed into the Whanganui River. That meant by last night, 373 people had died on New Zealand roads - the same awful toll as at December 25 last year and six fewer people than last year's total of 378 road deaths.

At its present rate, this year's toll will be the fifth consecutive year it has risen, and the highest overall toll since 2009. Speed played a part in nearly 30 per cent of road deaths.

- This story was first published on the Otago Daily Times website.