Police seek witnesses to Friday's fatal crashes

By Kristin Edge

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Police want to speak to anybody who may have witnessed thisfatal crash at the intersection of SH1 and Maunu Rd on Friday. Photo / Michael Cunningham
Police want to speak to anybody who may have witnessed thisfatal crash at the intersection of SH1 and Maunu Rd on Friday. Photo / Michael Cunningham

Police are appealing for witnesses to a fatal crash at a busy Whangarei intersection to contact investigating officers.

Two people were killed in accidents in Whangarei on Friday, with the deaths bringing Northland's road toll to 22 - the same total as the whole of 2015 - with more than four months of the year left.

Maria Verberne was the front seat passenger in a vehicle that collided with a ute towing a trailer at the intersection of Maunu and Otaika Rds about 4.30pm on Friday.

The 88-year-old had to be cut free from the car by firefighters and was taken to hospital in a serious condition but later died of her injuries. The driver of the car was not injured.

Traffic quickly built up as the lane west towards Maunu was blocked. Emergency service workers had cleared and reopened the road after 6pm.

Serious crash investigator Senior Constable Warren Bunn said he was piecing together the tragic events but was keen to hear from anyone who may have seen the crash happen.

It was the second fatal crash of the day Mr Bunn was called to investigate. Thirteen hours earlier 68-year-old Eric Everett Williams, of Poroti, died after the 4WD he was driving was involved in a crash with a truck and trailer unit on SH1, south of Whangarei.

The crash happened near the intersection of SH1 and Maungakaramea Rd. Firefighters employed rescue cutting equipment to free the injured man before he was transported to Whangarei Hospital where he later died.

Anyone with information about the SH1/Maunu Rd accident can contact Mr Bunn at Whangarei police station on 09430 4500.

- Northern Advocate

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