Fatal crash closes highway

By Imran Ali

Motorists travelling between Whangarei and Auckland yesterday faced lengthy delays after a fatal crash closed State Highway 1 near Kaiwaka for nearly half a day.

The death of a female driver about 11am yesterday has pushed Northland's road death toll to 15, more than double the region's record low of seven fatalities last year.

Investigators from the police Serious Crash Unit in Whangarei and fire appliances from Kaiwaka and Maungaturoto rushed to the intersection of SH1 and Schiska Rd, about 4km south of Kaiwaka.

Police serious crash investigator Jim Hawthorn said the north-bound Mitsubishi had collided head-on with an empty, south-bound Smith & Davies logging truck and trailer.

The driver's name had not been released last night. The woman's dog travelling with her had to be put down by veterinarians at the scene.

A diversion to Tomarata and Mangawhai was put in place and SHI was cleared about 4pm.

It was the second fatal crash involving a truck in Northland within three weeks.

On November 12, a woman was killed when a logging truck trying to avoid another vehicle rolled and crushed a car on the southern side of Lookout Hill, near Whangarei.

The day before, Dargaville teenager Anthony Charles Matich was killed when the car he was in crashed off the road.

Mr Hawthorn appealed for witnesses who saw the car south of Kaiwaka before the collision to contact Maungaturoto police on 09 431 1150.

- Northern Advocate

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