28 Dec 2011

Holiday road toll rises

6:02 am on 28 December 2011

There have been two more deaths on the roads on Tuesday, which will likely bring the road toll for the Christmas holiday period to eight.

One person was killed and four others were injured after two cars crashed on the Desert Road, north of Waiouru, at about 2.40pm.

One of the injured is in a serious condition.

An elderly woman died in hospital after being hit by a car on SH1 at Wellsford, north of Auckland, on Tuesday morning.

There were three fatalities on Christmas Day, including two sisters who were killed after two cars collided in Tauranga.

The crash occurred on Tauranga's Welcome Bay Road and killed Merepeka Morehu Clark, who was 14, and her sister Brooklyn Morehu Clark who was 13.

A 20-year-old man has been charged with the girls' manslaughter.

In the third Christmas Day fatality, a 52-year-old woman was struck by a vehicle in Waikato.

The woman was hit by a van on SH1 at Horotiu about 9.30pm on Sunday, suffering fatal injuries.

District road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman said it appears the woman and a man left a family Christmas party and stopped their car on the side of the road.

Both got out of the car and it appears the woman strayed out onto the road and was hit by a courier van.

Mr Tooman said alcohol and speed were not factors on the part of the courier van driver.

Three people were killed in crashes on Saturday near Geraldine in South Canterbury, in Christchurch and in Taranaki.

Police have named the driver who died in Christchurch on Saturday as Daniel James Mercer, who was 20. His car lost control and went into the Avon River.