31 Dec 2018

Holiday road toll rises to seven after fatal Otago crash

6:19 pm on 31 December 2018

The holiday road toll has risen to seven after a fatal crash in Otago.

A crash on State Highway 20B is blocking Puhinui Road in both directions.

A crash on State Highway 20B blocked Puhinui Road in both directions earlier today. Photo: NZTA

The crash happened near Waihola on State Highway One shortly after 1pm.

It's the latest in a series of crashes on New Year's Eve, bringing the holiday road toll to seven. In the same period last year, eight people died.

The official holiday period started on Christmas Eve and runs to 6am on Thursday.

In all of 2017, there were 378 deaths and the 2018 road toll now stands at 379.

Ministry of Transport figures show that last year's holiday period claimed the lives of 12 people, 90 people were seriously injured and 379 people suffered minor injuries.

In the crash near Waihola, police said two cars were involved and one person died in the crash.

St John Ambulance transported another to Dunedin Hospital in a moderate condition.

In the North Island, five people were taken to Waikato Hospital after a crash on State Highway One at Karapiro.

St John said two people are in a serious condition and the others have minor injuries.

A man and woman in their 80s have also been taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital after a crash on the Napier-Taupo Road.

A hospital spokesperson said the man is in a serious but stable condition, and the woman is being moved to intensive care in a critical condition.

Earlier today, a crash blocked SH20B (Puhinui Road) in both directions.