Holiday road toll victims named

The 4WD crash near Putorino, Hawkes Bay, which claimed four lives, was just one in what police say has been a very busy Queen's Birthday for them - there have been three other fatal accidents. Photo / APN
The 4WD crash near Putorino, Hawkes Bay, which claimed four lives, was just one in what police say has been a very busy Queen's Birthday for them - there have been three other fatal accidents. Photo / APN

The woman who was struck and killed by a car on a Hawkes Bay road has been named.

Hastings woman Gail Annette Hansen, 67, was killed instantly after she was hit at the intersection of State Highway 2 and Higginson St in Otane about 6pm Saturday.

In a twist, the driver was community advocate Liz Graham, who lost her son on the same stretch of road in August last year.

Police had interviewed Ms Graham but it was unsure whether charges would be laid.

"She was driving around the 100km mark but she certainly wasn't speeding and alcohol was not a factor,'' Constable Andy Walker said.

It was believed the victim had parked up on one side of the 100km/h road facing south and was walking back to her vehicle when she was hit.

Emergency services arrived shortly after the accident, but injuries to the woman's head and body were so severe she could not be revived by a passing nurse and ambulance staff.

It was dark at the time, but the intersection was fairly well lit with streetlights, Mr Walker said.

Ms Graham's windscreen was left with a large hole on the passengers side from the impact.

The police serious crash unit was investigating.

Ms Hansen's death was one of five in Hawkes Bay and seven in total this Queen's Birthday weekend.

Four men were killed when a four-wheel-drive vehicle crashed on Waikare Rd in Putorino, 60km north of Napier, overnight Saturday.

Police today named them as Waihua men Lou Phillip Wesley, 47, and James Raupita, 42, and Raupunga men Jack Huata, 64, and Paul Thomas Parata, 48, known as Boydie.

The men all lived in the area and were working as farmhands.

The Mitsubishi Pajero they were in lost control on a slight crest on the unsealed section of Waikare Rd road. It slid across the road, flipped and crashed through a fence and landed on its wheels in a paddock.

It was understood the men had been drinking at a local hotel on the corner of State Highway 2 and Waikare Rd before they left about 8pm on Saturday.

A passing motorist spotted the vehicle crash on Sunday at 7.30am and alerted emergency services. All four men were dead when police and ambulance staff arrived.

Police today said they were continuing their investigation and were still trying to establish when the crash occurred.

They asked anyone who saw a green-grey Mitsubishi Pajero in the Putorino-Raupunga area on Friday to contact Napier police.

Police earlier issued warnings advising motorists to drive to conditions, wear seatbelts and avoid drink-driving _ and it was those three factors they believe may have contributed to the tragedy.

Eastern District Road Policing Group Acting Senior Sergeant Clint Adamson said it appeared alcohol was involved in the crash.

"Three of the four occupants were thrown and found outside of the vehicle and that would suggest restraints were not being used,'' Mr Adamson said.

Mr Adamson said relatives were naturally very upset.

"I heard a few of them acknowledge that it was a waste of life.''

Meanwhile, a 19-year-old man was killed when he was hit by a car in Christchurch, and another man died and three people were injured when a car hit a power pole south of Stratford in Taranaki on Saturday.

- APNZ

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