24 Oct 2020

Labour weekend road toll already surpassed last year

8:04 pm on 24 October 2020

Four people have died in separate crashes so far this Labour weekend.

Wellington Free Ambulance.

Photo: RNZ / Alexander Robertson

The latest fatality was a pedestrian who died after being involved in a crash on State Highway 3, Westmere, in the Whanganui district about 2pm.

One person died after a two-car crash about 9am on State Highway 8 near Tekapo. Three people in the second car were airlifted to hospital with moderate injuries.

One person died following a crash near Gisborne overnight.

Emergency services were notified of a crash on Whatatutu Road at Te Karaka just before 2am today.

Inquiries into the circumstances of the crash are continuing.

And police said a motorcyclist died in a crash near Timberlea about 5pm yesterday.

National Road Policing Manager Acting Superintendent Gini Welch said it had been a devastating start to the long weekend.

As well as the four fatal crashes, police have attended other crashes that have resulted in serious injuries for some people, she said.

"With high volumes of traffic on our roads this long weekend, we implore you to keep your speeds down, pay attention to your surroundings and the conditions, and watch your following distances to ensure you arrive alive," Welch said.

"It only takes one risky decision or moment of inattention to result in tragedy."

Meanwhile, a serious crash in the central North Island had shut State Highway 1 at Desert Road between Rangipō and Waiōuru earlier today. The road has reopened now.

The weekend road toll began at 4pm yesterday, and ends on Tuesday at 6am.

One person died on the roads last Labour weekend.