Sam Boyer

Sam Boyer is a police reporter for the NZ Herald.

Police still unable to speak to wrong-way driver

Karen Yin Mei Yong was killed on Friday.
Karen Yin Mei Yong was killed on Friday.

Police have still be unable to speak to an injured woman, four days after she drove 5kms the wrong way down the Southern Motorway, which killed an innocent motorist.

Karen Yong, 49, died after the 31-year-old crashed into her car near the East Tamaki interchange about 12.40am on Friday morning - before the official long weekend road toll officially began at 4pm. She had got on the motorway at Mt Wellington.

Senior Constable Karl Bevin said the female driver remained in Middlemore Hospital with serious injuries.

Police investigating another fatal crash, which occured the same day, are set to interview people involved tomorrow.

South Auckland grandmother Robyn Derrick, 52, was killed when the 4WD she was a passenger in was hit by a tourist driving a campervan, who is thought to have crossed the centreline.

The collision happened on Friday afternoon in Coromandel, on State Highway 25 near the turnoff to popular holiday spots Hot Water Beach and Hahei.

Waikato district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said a decision on whether charge would be laid was yet to be made.

"We are still carrying out our investigation into what's occurred," Ms Grace said.
Decisions on charges would be discussed, she said.

Mrs Derrick's daughter Amy McPake said on Facebook today a service would be held for her mother on Friday at Fountain Funerals in Papakura.

AA spokesman Mike Noon said the crashes over the weekend were tragedies for the families involved, for whom Queen's Birthday weekend would now always be ruined.
The holiday road toll stands at five.

More work needed to be done to analyse the crashes tourists were having here versus the crashes local drivers were having, he said, to find out of there were specific problems in foreigners understanding New Zealand roads.

"There have been tragically a number of crashes involving tourists recently. This weekend what we're seeing is unfortunately two of the major crashes have involved foreign drivers.
"Have we just had an unfortunate spate involving those drivers or do we actually need to increase the information available to those drivers? We've had a pretty tragic run over the past few days."

He said it would be too difficult to test all tourists into the country before they drove.

- NZ Herald

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf01 at 23 Oct 2014 14:00:08 Processing Time: 75ms