Three road deaths in 26 days

By Mikaela Collins

Add a comment
Inspector Wayne Ewers.
Inspector Wayne Ewers.

Northland's top road cop says most deaths on the region's roads are preventable and he's urging drivers to follow the rules following a fatal collision yesterday which occurred only 500m north of a double fatality last month.

A 26-year-old Northland man died in a single vehicle crash on State Highway 10 yesterday, about 300 metres north of the Puketona Rd intersection and only 500m north of the crash which killed 29-year-old Ahipara woman Kylee Anne Rakich, who was eight months' pregnant with a daughter, and 44-year-old Whangarei woman Virginia Keogh on April 30.

Police said yesterday's crash happened after the vehicle the man was driving veered across the road on a moderate bend onto the gravel verge before returning back across the southbound lane and leaving the road.

The vehicle has then travelled a short distance before rolling over and coming to a stop in the southbound lane about 1.20am.

The man died at the scene, bringing Northland's road toll for the year to 15 - it was nine at the same time last year and 23 for the whole of 2015.

Northland road policing manager, Inspector Wayne Ewers, said most of deaths on Northland roads were preventable.

"It's just people not adhering to the rules. There are some that are unfortunate accidents but most can be prevented," he said "It shouldn't happen. Now we've got another family who are grieving."

Mr Ewers said alcohol, speed and not wearing a seatbelt were all suspected factors in yesterday's crash.

The stretch of road and the intersection have been dubbed deadly by members of the public but Mr Ewers said driver behaviour was the main issue.

"Look, 100km/h is not a target, drive to the conditions and just slow down," he said.

In 2014 Associate Transport Minister Michael Woodhouse announced the country's 100 worst intersections, the Puketona Junction was number 67 with with 15 injury crashes, one serious crash, 30 casualties and one death in the 10 years from 2003 to 2012.

It was the second Northland intersection on the list behind the nearby Pakaraka Junction.

All emergency services attended the yesterday's crash and diversions were put in place with the road reopening at 4.30am.

A serious crash investigation into the cause of the crash is under way.

- Northern Advocate

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 29 May 2017 22:51:31 Processing Time: 1049ms