Holiday road deaths stacking up

By Hayden Donnell

The holiday road toll period ends on January 4. Photo / Alan Gibson
The holiday road toll period ends on January 4. Photo / Alan Gibson

Another fatal crash has taken New Zealand's road toll to 11 at the halfway point of a horror holiday season.

Road fatalities are counting up at more than twice the rate of last year, with a 21-year-old man the latest to die in a crash near Woolston early this morning.

Police said the driver appeared to have been speeding before he lost control and collided with a lamppost on Ferry Rd just before 2am.

The crash took New Zealand's holiday road toll to 11 - one short of the total tally for the 2010 period and six more than at the same point last year.

However, the toll was still well short of the 25 deaths recorded in the 2009 holiday season.

Authorities measure the holiday road toll from 4pm on December 23 to 6am on January 4.

Earlier, authorities confirmed a second death from a head-on crash between a car and a campervan on the West Coast yesterday afternoon.

Police said a 53-year-old German woman died on her way to hospital following the crash on the Haast Highway between Lake Paringa and Lake Moeraki.

An 82-year-old man died at the scene.

It was the second double fatal collision of the holiday season.

Sisters Merepeka Morehu-Clark, 14, and Brooklyn Morehu-Clark, 13, were killed on Welcome Bay Rd near Tauranga at 4.20pm on Christmas Day.

The girls' 20-year-old cousin is facing two counts of manslaughter over a car crash.

Of the seven injured who survived the crash, four - including a toddler - were taken to Tauranga Hospital.

Other deaths included a 52-year-old woman who was run over by a courier driver at State Highway 1 in Waikato, also on Christmas Day.

The driver had to flee the scene for his safety after being set upon by angry family members, police said.

Carol Dawn Gibson, 70, was killed after her car crossed the centre line and slammed into another car on Desert Rd on Tuesday and an elderly woman was killed after being struck by a passing car in Northland.

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