Answers sought for mystifying smash

By Doug Laing

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A police officer investigating a crash that closed a bridge as the morning rush between Napier and Hastings began yesterday is asking highway authorities to investigate the site as a mystery blackspot on Hawke's Bay roads.

No one was seriously hurt in the crash, which happened when a car with one occupant travelling towards Clive hit the side of the Tutaekuri River bridge on State Highway 2, south of Awatoto, about 6.30am.

Why the driver lost control of her vehicle couldn't be immediately explained, but long-serving policeman, Senior Constable Taina Puketapu, noticed it wasn't the first time vehicles had hit the same part of the bridge.

"It appears to be in the same place," he said, reflecting on other incidents he and other officers had attended during the years on the bridge, the northernmost of the twin bridges in the area.

He contacted highways consultants Opus soon afterwards to ask staff there to consider if there could be a road engineering factor.

The crash happened in good post-dawn conditions, and the bridge was closed for more than half an hour as traffic banked up, particularly towards Clive, where northbound traffic was able to detour along Farndon Rd, while southbound traffic was able to detour through Meeanee Awatoto Rd.

The driver, in her 40s, was examined by St John Ambulance officers at the scene.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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