Easter road toll rises to four

By Brendan Manning

The Easter Road toll has risen to four. File photo / NZ Herald
The Easter Road toll has risen to four. File photo / NZ Herald

Two people have died in separate crashes on Canterbury roads in the past 24 hours, taking the Easter Weekend road toll to four.

Last night around 5.20pm a 44-year-old female driver from Twizel died following a crash on the Fairlie-Tekapo Road in South Canterbury.

Her vehicle was travelling along State Highway 8 from Fairlie towards Tekapo and appeared to have lost control, left the road and hit a tree, police said.

Two passengers in the vehicle were taken to Timaru Hospital with moderate injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

Speed, the vehicle's poor condition and bad weather were contributing factors, police said.

The driver was not believed to have been wearing a seatbelt and her name was not immediately available.

The second fatal crash on Canterbury roads occurred about 3.14am this morning when an 80-year-old male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on the Hinds-Rangitata Highway, approximately five kilometres south of Hinds.

He died as a result of his injuries.

Early police enquiries suggested he may have been driving south before parking his vehicle and continuing south on foot. His name was also not immediately available.

Timaru police are appealing for anyone who was travelling on the Hinds-Rangitata Highway near the Hinds township at that time, or who may have seen the man walking on or near the road to contact them on (03) 687 9808.

They were also appealing for sightings of a white Nissan Pulsar found parked within a few kilometres of the scene.

Another motorist died following a four-vehicle crash in the West Auckland township of Kumeu around 7pm last night.

Several others were seriously injured in the crash, police said. Three people were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition.

The serious crash unit was investigating.

An elderly man who crashed his car into a tree while driving in heavy rain near Pukekohe yesterday has also died.

The 75-year-old was left in a critical condition after smashing into a tree at the intersection of Tuakau and Buckland Roads, about midday yesterday.

The Counties Manukau police serious crash unit was investigating the incident and were seeking more information on the vehicle leading up to the time it crashed.

Anyone who saw the man's black Isuzu Bighorn, registration WE2879, before midday yesterday was asked to contact Constable Amy Weston on 09 261 1302, or leave information anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

The Easter road toll period began at 4pm yesterday, and finishes at 6am on Monday.

- APNZ

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