Wanganui crash raises road toll to 6

File photo / Supplied.
File photo / Supplied.

A fatal head-on crash near Wanganui late this afternoon has lifted the holiday road toll to six.

The accident happened just after 4pm on Kaikokopu Road in Brunswick, 11km north of Wanganui, police said.

A 74-year-old woman died after a Subaru Impreza collided with a Nissan Bluebird on the gravel road. The woman was a passenger in the Bluebird. The driver was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Some of the five occupants of the Impreza received minor injuries, police said.

Early today, a crash in Waikato which killed two people was believed to have involved speed and alcohol.

"At this stage the deaths of these young people appears to have been preventable and is a bitter blow to our staff trying to maintain a highly visible presence as we work to keep the holiday road toll down," district road policing manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said.

"It appears speed and alcohol were factors in the crash but we won't be able to confirm this for several days," he said.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Rotowaro Road, west of Huntly, about 1.45am.

However, investigators believe the crash may have happened earlier as the area had a power cut about 1.15am.

The car appeared to have failed to take a slight bend and collided with a power-pole, which would explain the earlier power failure, Mr Tooman said.

A man, believed to be the driver, had been able to raise the alarm, he said.

A fourth person, who had been a passenger in the car before being dropped off in Huntly, was assisting police with their investigation.

Mr Tooman urged motorists to plan their journeys home and allow plenty of time, take regular rests and be extra patient when travelling in heavy holiday traffic.

The Labour Weekend road toll now stands at five after a truck driver died in a truck crash near Kaikoura this morning.

The accident happened on State Highway 1 near the Conway River Bridge at 8.30am.

One person died in a two-car crash on State Highway 93 in Southland yesterday at midday about 15km east of Mataura, near Gore, on a stretch of highway known as Old Coach Road.

A 46-year-old man was in Southland Hospital with injuries not believed to be serious, and his two children were flown to Dunedin Hospital.

An eight-year-old boy had a suspected broken leg, and an 11-year-old girl underwent surgery yesterday afternoon.

On Friday, one person died and a second was injured in a head-on collision on State Highway 2 at Matamau, near Norsewood in the southern Hawke's Bay about 8.15pm.

The official holiday runs from 4pm Friday until 6am on Tuesday.

- NZPA

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