3 Apr 2019

Ashburton roads fit for purpose despite triple fatality crash - mayor

9:11 pm on 3 April 2019

A crash which left three dead on Monday is tragic, but the region's roads are fit for purpose, Ashburton mayor Donna Favel says.

A car crash near Ashburton claimed the lives on two young children and an adult.

A car crash near Ashburton claimed the lives on two young children and an adult. Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Chante Alissa Harmer, 30, Awanuiarangi Shayelous-Jay Matenga Tapiata-Harmer, 19 months, and eight-month-old Wysdom Amara Francis Tony Jane Tapiata-Harmer [ https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/386143/ashburton-crash-baby-and-toddler-killed-in-collision died when the car they were in crashed on Monday morning].

A station wagon and a ute crashed at the the intersection of Mitcham Road and Hepburns Road shortly after 10am.

Some locals said the intersection had poor visibility and inadequate signage.

Ms Favel said the accident was a tragedy.

"Our heartfelt sympathies to the families who have lost loved ones.

"It's devastating when anyone passes away but particularly when it's in an accident and when it's such a young family."

But she said there was nothing obvious about the intersection, which may have contributed to the crash.

"I physically drove out there yesterday with the chief executive and had a look at the intersection. We live on the Canterbury plains and in most places have very flat roads with good visibility.

"The road markings were there, they've been refreshed in the past couple of months so while not perfect, absolutely within the guidelines.

Ms Favel said the intersection was not known to be a hotspot.

"We have a road safety committee and we meet regularly with police and we identify where out hotspots are, this wasn't on the list."

The council would wait to receive the police report before deciding whether any changes were needed.

She said there were conversations happening within central government about whether to reduce speed limits on rural roads to 80km/h.

"NZ government have a vision to have a zero road toll ... that is a central government conversation that is happening."

As of this evening nearly $3800 has been raised to bring the three bodies to Hawke's Bay to be buried.

The Give A Little page has been started by Chante Harmer's cousin Ashleigh and described her as "kind, caring and generous".

The page explained that Ms Harmer lost a child to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) in 2006 and is survived by her four remaining children and partner.