Teen hurt in horror day on roads

By Sam Boyer

A 14-year-old skateboarder was admitted to intensive care after being hit by a car on Saturday afternoon, marking the beginning of a horror afternoon on Western Bay roads.

The Tauranga teen was attempting to cross the road when he was struck by the vehicle in a 70km/h section of Maunganui Road, near Spur Avenue.

It is unclear whether he was riding or carrying his skateboard at the time.

He was taken to Tauranga Hospital by St John ambulance staff, in a serious but stable condition, having suffered a head injury.

Mount Maunganui Fire Brigade senior station officer Roger Pickett said the extent of the boy's injuries were unclear at the scene.

"He wasn't conscious ... he'd obviously taken a bit of a bang to the head. He [wasn't] that flash," he said.

The fire crew were the first emergency services team to respond to the accident, but Mr Pickett said the boy was already being tended to by a passerby.

"There was already a bystander there who was a [hospital emergency department] nurse, so that was pretty handy," he said.

Last night the boy remained in a stable condition in intensive care.

Te Puke Police Sergeant Mike Owen said alcohol or speed were not believed to be factors in the incident.

At 5.30pm a van and a motorcyclist collided not far from the same spot on Maunganui Rd, between Concord Ave and the entrance to Bayfair Shopping Centre.

A 61-year-old Mount Maunganui motorcyclist suffered serious arm, shoulder and torso injuries, as well as a possible fractured pelvis.

A witness to the aftermath of the crash, who did not wish to be identified, said there was extensive damage to both the van and the motorbike.

"There was a bit of mayhem there. It was a bit distressing," he said. "The emergency services were just doing their best to preserve life."

The man remains in a stable condition in Tauranga Hospital's intensive care unit.

Mr Owen said neither alcohol nor speed appeared to be factors in the crash.

Then, at 7pm, a vehicle travelling north on State Highway 2 at Aongatete left the road and rolled through an area of scrub before coming to rest upside down in a drain.

Mr Owen said the driver had lost control on a moderate right-hand bend, struck a road sign and narrowly missed a concrete power pole. Early indications suggested the driver had been speeding, he said.

Katikati volunteer fire chief Joe Manukau said the driver appeared to have lost traction on the road and ended up on an "awkward angle" off the road.

As a result, a 48-year-old Katikati man was taken to Tauranga Hospital with moderate injuries before being treated and discharged.

"All three of these crashes were so avoidable but all three could have just as easily ended up in fatalities," Mr Owen said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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