2 dead, 6 injured in horror crash

By Imran Ali

Two people are dead and six are injured - with three of the injured fighting for their lives - after a horrific road crash involving four vehicles north of Whangarei.

The accident happened on State Highway One at Hukerenui, about 32km northwest of Whangarei, around 2.20pm yesterday.

Two cars and two four-wheel-drives travelling in opposite directions smashed into each other.

A Toyota Altezza in which two people, understood to be passengers, died came to a rest by a fence near a paddock while a Toyota four-wheel-drive veered just off the road facing the other car.

Police serious crash investigators and fire crews from Hikurangi, Hukerenui and Towai rushed to the scene and helped free two people trapped in a car. Three occupants managed to free themselves and were treated by St John paramedics, who were the first to arrive at the scene.

Acting Northland St John boss Wally Mitchell said one of the three seriously injured people was airlifted to Whangarei Hospital while others were taken by road.

Three others, whose injuries were not classified as life-threatening, were also transported to hospital.

Mr Mitchell said an ambulance heading north came across the accident and paramedics were able to respond quickly, while two more ambulances from Kawakawa and Whangarei were sent later.

Another Whangarei-based ambulance returning from a patient transfer up north also responded.

The Toyota Altezza was heading north while the other vehicles were travelling south when the accident happened.

Acting police sergeant Gregg Chisnall said the driver of a four-wheel-drive heading south while towing a car appeared to have lost control and veered into the opposite lane.

The Toyota Altezza swerved to avoid the four-wheel-drive but collided with another utility vehicle heading south.

The four-wheel drive towing the car flipped on to its side as a result of the impact.

Emergency services personnel retrieved the bodies and a police kaumatua blessed the scene.

Diversions were put between Jordan Valley Rd and Puhipuhi Rd and the crash site was not expected to be cleared until after dark yesterday.

The double fatality has pushed Northland's road death toll so far this year to seven.

- Northern Advocate

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