Police urge care after pedestrians killed

By Natalie Akoorie

Less than a week ago Inspector Leo Tooman urged pedestrians to be more careful on roads. Photo / Christine Cornege
Less than a week ago Inspector Leo Tooman urged pedestrians to be more careful on roads. Photo / Christine Cornege

A pedestrian who was killed by a car on the outskirts of Tokoroa early yesterday is believed to be a resident of the South Waikato town.

The man was one of two pedestrians who died in separate early-morning accidents.

Another person was killed 6km west of Opotiki less than an hour later.

The first crash happened just after 4am on State Highway 1 at Tokoroa when a car ran into the man on a 100km/h stretch of road.

Details of the crash were sketchy last night but police said two other people were injured in the incident.

It happened on the main road near the Redwood Motor Lodge. Owner Allen Brownlee said he woke at 7am to find police had closed the road and were examining the scene.

Mr Brownlee said that in his six years running the lodge there had been several crashes on the straight piece of highway but this was the first death and first involving a pedestrian that he knew of.

"We've had cars run off the road into ditches and culverts, that sort of thing. It [the road] is dead straight, that's the mystery of it all."

In Opotiki, police were investigating a fatal collision between a car and pedestrian in Waioeka Rd shortly before 5am.

The road was closed for several hours and traffic could not be diverted because of the location.

Less than a week ago, Waikato road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman urged pedestrians to be more careful on roads after 53-year-old Waihi man William Povi Stock was killed while walking on State Highway 2/Tauranga Rd near the mining town.

The accident, which happened at 7.40pm last Monday, also took place in a 100km/h speed zone.

His death brought the pedestrian toll for the Waikato region to six for the year so far, compared with 12 during a four-year period from 2006 to 2010.

Mr Tooman said it was time the public took ownership of the roads.

"We're talking about keeping left, watching your speed, avoiding booze, securing belts, wearing high-visibility clothing and taking every step to ensure no matter what type of road-user you are you can be seen.

"If every road-user takes personal responsibility we can go a long way in ensuring safer journeys for all concerned."

The latest deaths were in the Bay of Plenty policing district.

- NZ Herald

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