Driver airlifted

An 89-year-old man was airlifted to Whangarei Hospital after a crash on State Highway 10 thought to have been triggered by a medical event. Police say the man was leaving Gull service station in Waipapa in a small Honda just after 10am yesterday when he started driving erratically and collided head-on with a van.

The elderly driver was assessed as being in a critical condition by a passing off-duty paramedic. He was taken by ambulance to Kerikeri Sports Complex, then flown to Whangarei Hospital by the Northland Rescue Helicopter.

The other driver, a 67-year-old Kerikeri man, was taken to Bay of Islands Hospital but discharged later in the day. The crash blocked one lane of the highway until the debris could be cleared away.

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Fritter festival highlight

New Zealand band Salmonella Dub will headline next year's Fritter Festival along with Elemeno P and five-piece reggae/ska band Strangely Arousing. The sixth edition of the festival will be held on March 10 at Toll Stadium in Whangarei.

Early bird tickets go on sale on Monday at 9am from Eventfinda and Forum North box office.

Dead woman named

Police have named the 46-year-old woman who was killed in a fatal crash at Towai last Friday. She was Jeanette Tharasa Cleaver, of Henderson in Auckland. A dog in the car was also killed. Two other vehicles were involved with the occupants suffering moderate injuries.

Letterboxes targeted

Police are looking for information after about 50 letterboxes in Bream Bay and Kaiwaka were damaged on Monday night. The letterboxes were in Settlement Rd, Oneriri Rd, Lupis Way, Wattle Lane and Oruawharo Rd. Police are encouraging anyone who had their letterbox damaged to also contact police on 09 430 4500.