Tess Nichol is an NZME. News Service reporter.

Long weekend road toll rises to two

Two people have died and at least eight have been seriously injured. File photo
Two people have died and at least eight have been seriously injured. File photo

Two people have died and at least eight have been seriously injured on the roads so far this holiday weekend.

The road toll for the holiday period, which began yesterday at 4pm, rose to two early this morning when a person died in a crash on State Highway 3 near Te Kuiti.

The official road toll period for Queen's Birthday weekend ends at 6am on Tuesday.

Emergency services were called to the crash in Tanehopuwai about 5.30am after two cars collided head on.

One person died at the scene and two others were injured in the crash, one seriously.

Last night a 64-year-old Kaikoura man died in a four-car crash on SH1 north of Dunedin just before 6pm.

Four others were taken to Dunedin Hospital with serious injuries.

An hour later, a pregnant woman was flown to Whangarei Hospital with serious injuries after a two-vehicle crash on a passing lane of State Highway One at Kaiwaka.

A man with serious injuries was taken to hospital by ambulance after being cut out of a vehicle.

Shortly after the official road toll period began, a male pedestrian was critically injured when he was hit by a car in Albury, 46km northwest of Timaru.

The man suffered multiple fractures and was taken to Timaru Hospital by St John.

Police also reported two boy racers were hurt just after midnight overnight when two cars in a group of about 40 collided in Palmerston North.

Their injuries were not serious.

Over Queen's Birthday weekend last year, five people were killed in five separate road incidents. Three were drivers and two were passengers, one of whom was on a motorcycle.

There were also 96 crashes which caused injury, including 28 people who were seriously hurt and 109 who suffered minor injuries.

Superintendent Steve Greally said yesterday while police wanted New Zealanders to enjoy themselves this long weekend - the last public holiday until October - they also wanted to make sure safety was put first.

"It only takes a split second to lose control of a vehicle in wet or icy conditions."

- NZ Herald

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