Two fatal crashes in two days for Northland

By Kristin Edge

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Northland's grim road toll continues after a woman was killed when a logging truck trying to avoid another vehicle rolled and crushed the car she was a passenger in.

The latest fatality came only hours after police named a Dargaville teenager who was killed on Sunday when the car he was in crashed off the road. He was Anthony Charles Matich. Two others from the crash involving seven people in one vehicle remained in critical condition.

Northland's road toll is now 14 - double the region's record low of seven fatalities in 2011.

Highway patrol Senior Sergeant Chris Goodall said there were multiple calls to the police communications centre alerting them to the latest crash, on the southern side of Lookout Hill, near Whangarei, about 2.20pm yesterday.

Early investigations at the scene, which was strewn with smashed glass and car wreckage, revealed a silver northbound car was in collision with a fully laden logging truck.

Mr Goodall said the silver car went across the road and smashed into a roadside barrier.

It appeared the truck and trailer rolled and collided with another northbound car, crushing the vehicle.

The truck driver managed to free himself from the cab and ran to a house less than 50 metres away to raise the alarm.

He was taken to hospital, as was the elderly driver of the silver car, to be checked before being released.

The driver of the crushed car was trapped but cut free by firefighters. He was also taken to hospital as a precaution. However his female passenger died at the scene.


Whangarei firefighters working at the accident site stood with their heads bowed as a kaumatua blessed the scene.

"This crash is continuing a grim trend on top of a bad October. We have seven fatalities in eight weeks now," Mr Goodall said.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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