Passenger dies as car overturns at Te Kao

By Imran Ali

Northland roads has claimed another life - the first this festive season.

The death of Sandy Paul Waenga Brown, 21, of Paua, 90km north of Awanui, has pushed Northland's roads death toll so far this year to 21.

Mr Brown was a passenger in a Toyota Hilux that veered off the road and came to rest on its roof on State Highway 1 near Paua Station at Te Kao, about 2.30am yesterday.

The 21-year-old female driver suffered serious injuries and was initially treated at the scene by St John paramedics before being flown to the Whangarei Hospital.

A female passenger was transported to the Kaitaia Hospital with minor injuries.

Alcohol was believed to have been involved.

The trio were travelling north on SH1 when the driver lost control around a moderate bend, going into a slide and hitting a bank, police said.

The Toyota Hilux rolled, throwing the front-seat passenger from the vehicle.

Ambulance officers attended the scene, but were unable to revive Mr Brown.

Two fire appliances from Pukenui and Kaitaia attended, but were not required much except diverting traffic, particularly those travelling north.

The weather was fine at the time the crash happened.

Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

The official holiday road toll period started at 4pm yesterday and will finish at 6am on January 3.

Last month, a man in his 40s, died and three others suffered moderate injuries after a two-car crash on SH1 at Pamapuria, about 10km south of Kaitaia.

Police will have a tolerance of just 4km/h above the speed limit for all drivers until January 31 and it is the first time the reduced speed tolerance has been extended beyond an official holiday period.

- NORTHERN ADVOCATE

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