12 Mar 2015

Triple crash fatality victims from the US

5:37 pm on 12 March 2015

The three people killed in a vehicle crash near Hamilton last night were from the United States.

The accident happened at the intersection of State Highway Three and Tuhikaramea Road, near Templeview, when a car turned right into the path of a truck and trailer unit.

Husband and wife Ruth-Ann and Mitchell Peterson, and Tamara Garlick Barnett, all from Utah, died when their car turned into the path of a truck and trailer unit at an intersection near Templeview.

Their car was being driven by Mrs Barnett's husband, Richard - the 56-year-old was in Waikato Hospital with moderate injuries.

Hamilton police said while the cause of the crash seemed obvious, a number of investigations were underway.

Inspector Jeff Penno said the crash site was known as dangerous.

"It is a high volume road but it's not classed as a black spot. We've got a number of investigations going through, putting the maths and the science around what has happened. You've got to understand in a crash, vehicles are travelling around about 20 metres a second... we just need to make sure that we really do in-depth analysis to establish what's happened and where the culpability lies."

He said the truck driver was uninjured but shaken by his ordeal.

Church expresses sympathy

The Latter Day Saints Church expessed its deepest sympathies to the families of the three American church members killed.

The four were on holiday in New Zealand and were on their way to the iconic Temple in Hamilton, which serves Latter-day Saints.