The state of the road where a man died after a car and mobile library collided is under fire today, with local residents speaking out over its condition.
Police have confirmed a pothole near the crash scene is likely to be part of their investigation.
A 19-year-old man died at the scene yesterday after the car in which he was a passenger and a library bus travelling in the opposite direction crashed on Welcome Bay Rd, near the Faith Bible College. His death brings this year's Bay road toll to 10.
The 20-year-old driver of the red Holden Astra sustained minor injuries and was taken to Tauranga Hospital, while the male bus driver escaped unscathed in the 9.05am accident that closed the road for more than five hours.
Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing, Senior Sergeant Ian Campion, said a pothole on the road near the crash scene was likely to be part of the investigation.
"At this point, it is obviously something that the investigation will cover."
Sergeant Nigel Ramsden said he did not know if speed or wet road conditions played a part but "could be a contributing factor".
Nearby residents have spoken out about their concerns at the road's conditions and driver behaviour.
I think we need a big sign up, saying people die on this road and it's 60km/h for a reason.
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Ngapeke Hill resident TJ Te Keeti told the Bay of Plenty Times she believed trucks had changed the road's structure and caused "ripples".
"As soon as you hit those ripples and you have the slightest bald tyre, you are gone and wiped out. It was a morning like this when the road was wet that I came around the corner from Papamoa and did a 180 to the right, then a 360 to the left," she said.
"I think they should limit the weight of the trucks that come through here, because it's not a highway grade road."
The corner was notorious, she said.
"I think we need a big sign up, saying people die on this road and it's 60km/h for a reason.
"Several years ago on Christmas Day, two girls lost their lives and that is why they lowered the speed limit."
A lot of cars have gone off the side, it is notorious.Resident Renee Parker
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Drivers had been known to misjudge the bend and end up in the paddock, she said.
"There are accidents on that corner every eight weeks or so."
Neil and Beryl Armstrong said the stretch of road where the accident occurred was dangerous.
"The corner by the Bible college is terrible," Mr Armstrong said.
"It's bump, bump, bump as you are coming around.
"There have been numerous accidents."
Renee Parker has lived on Water Lane, close to the crash site, for 26 years and said if motorists did not know the road and speed limit they were liable to "just fly off it".
"A lot of cars have gone off the side, it is notorious."
* Police have appealled to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash or saw the red Astra prior to the crash and has any information thay might assist the investigation. People can contact Tauranga police on (07) 577 4300.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council is responsible for the road and deputy chief executive Gary Allis said the area between Water Lane and Kairua Rd where the crash happened was resurfaced in 2010 and due to be upgraded next year.
There had been five requests regarding potholes and repairs over the past three years, he said.
"Normal road maintenance has been undertaken on this section of road, including responding to the complaints and undertaking preventative maintenance."
The site of the crash was at a bend with a 45km/h advisory speed limit and situated in a 60km/h speed limit zone, Mr Allis said.
"The speed limit was made to reduce operating speeds to a level that would be more appropriate to the driving environment, allow drivers to respond to other road users and reduce the severity of crashes should they occur. Members of the public petitioned for the lowered speed limit after a fatal crash in 2011."
The only recorded crash in the Crash Analysis System over the past three years on this section occurred at the same bend in November 2012 when a west-bound vehicle lost control, he said. No injuries were reported.
FATAL CRASHES IN THE BAY
* Ten people have died on Western Bay roads this year
* The Western Bay local area includes Tauranga City and Western Bay of Plenty District
* In the same time period last year from January 1, 2013 to October 20, 2013, there were six fatalities.