2 Apr 2019

Poor signage at intersection where three died in crash - resident

6:47 am on 2 April 2019

A man living on the road where three people died yesterday says the intersection is not well signposted.

The remains of a vehicle involved in the fatal crash near Ashburton that claimed three lives.

The remains of a vehicle involved in the fatal crash near Ashburton that claimed three lives. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Crash data collated by the Transport Agency since 2000 counts more than 250 crashes on the back roads of Ashburton, with 48 being on Mitcham Road, where yesterday's accident happened.

Three were killed when a station wagon and a ute collided at the intersection of Mitcham and Hepburns Road shortly after 10am.

Police said the crash happened at high speed.

Hepburns Road resident Brad Fallaver said people use the road as a detour to avoid Ashburton town.

He said unless drivers knew the road well, at 100 kilometres an hour, the intersection at Mitcham could surprise them.

"At the intersection itself there's the give way signs but I guess back further, normally they tell you there's a give way coming. If they're unfamiliar and speeding along perhaps they got to that intersection before they knew it."

He said locals knew to stop because it could be hard to see if traffic was coming.

"If you're coming from Ashburton and heading toward Christchurch you've got to poke your nose out a fair bit to get a look of what's coming up Mitcham."

Mr Fallaver said a part of Hepburns Road was gravel and could be hard to stop if hit at speed.

Rangitata MP Andrew Falloon also said the road could be hard work.

"It can be quite a tricky intersection. There's some trees along part of the road which can make it quite dark."

Mr Falloon said the council may be looking to put up better signage to warn drivers of the intersection.

"I talk to the council quite regularly about the state of local roads. They've got quite a full work programme of trying to improve the roads and that will include signage as well."

The Transport Agency data shows four serious crashes at the intersection of Mitcham and Hepburns Road in the last 10 years.

About 20km north of that intersection is the intersection of Thompsons Track and Somerton Road where in 2014, Sally and Ella Summerfield and Abi Hone were killed when a tourist drove through a stop sign.

There have been 127 crashes on Thompsons Track since 2000.

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