Belinda Feek is a NZ Herald reporter

Eight dead on roads in November already

Two died in this crash on SH2 at Mangatawhiri in Waikato on Wednesday. Photo / AWRH
Two died in this crash on SH2 at Mangatawhiri in Waikato on Wednesday. Photo / AWRH

It's just the third day of November yet eight people have already died on the country's roads.

That's nearly triple the number at the same time last year, Ministry of Transport figures show, when there were three fatalities.

Two died at the same time in 2014.

If tallying from the beginning of the week, 10 people - six men and four women - have died in crashes since Monday.

The road toll for the entire year makes for even more grim reading. As of this morning, 276 people have died on our roads compared with 263 in 2015 and 231 in 2014.

The deaths of two women, one last night and one early today, pushed the week'snumber of deaths on the road to double figures.

National road policing Assistant Commissioner Dave Cliff said this week's spate of deaths was unusual.

However, of even more concern was the forecasted trend.

"We're projecting another 60 to 70 people will die before the end of this year in road crashes. So it's typically just under one person will die each day in a road crash if you average it out."

Cliff said the three main factors in recent crashes were speed, alcohol and no seatbelts.

People not wearing a seatbelt now accounted for a third of all fatal crashes, he said.

It was also disappointing to see in the number of road deaths rising, since 2013's record low of 254, but also the number of hospitalisations from crashes and volume of ACC claims.

"You could never attribute a crash to one thing. Fundamentally, if we all slow down, wear our safety belts and we don't drink and drive you're in a much stronger position."

At 11.30pm yesterday, a police spokeswoman said a woman died after the vehicle she was travelling in crashed at the Napier end of State Highway 5 at Te Pohue.

None of the other occupants was injured.

Then at 3.30am today on SH2 at Raupunga, near Wairoa, another woman died in a crash.

Both crashes involved just one vehicle.

Their deaths come less than 12 hours after a 21-year-old male driver and his 25-year-old female passenger were killed in a horror crash on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri.

Emergency services wheel a patient to the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter at the scene of a double fatal at Mangatawhiri on Wednesday. Photo /AWRH
Emergency services wheel a patient to the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter at the scene of a double fatal at Mangatawhiri on Wednesday. Photo /AWRH

The cars - a black Mitsubishi and a white sedan - appeared to have collided head-on.

The female driver, in her 50s, of the other vehicle was airlifted to hospital by the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter after suffering serious rib and leg injuries.

In Ashburton, local man Dayle Julian Barker, 43, died after his bike and a truck collided, with the bike bursting into flames, at the intersection of SH1 and Maronan Rd, about 1pm.

On Tuesday, 16-year-old Matamata College student Corbin Morgan died after the vehicle he and three others were in crashed and rolled on the outskirts of the town.

The group were returning to school from a chicken farm on Maiseys Rd - where they were working to raise money for an overseas rugby trip - when they crashed.

Corbin Morgan, from Matamata College, died after a crash near the town on Tuesday. Photo / File
Corbin Morgan, from Matamata College, died after a crash near the town on Tuesday. Photo / File

One of the other injured boys had been discharged from hospital while two others were yesterday stable.

Waikato road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said lack of restraints appeared to be a factor in the crash, along with speed, as Morgan was flung from the rear window of the cab.

"There was a young driver and he got a bit out of control ... and one of his passengers has been ejected from the vehicle."

Grace said 10 deaths in such a short space in time was an "absolutely horrendous indictment on us as a country".

"I'm not sure about the other [eight] fatals but goodness gracious, for not wearing a seatbelt they may have survived."

On Tuesday afternoon, Robin Coutanche died after the tractor he was driving collided with a car, south of New Plymouth.

The 70-year-old died at the scene of the 4.20pm crash on South Rd, near Oakura.

Coutanche was trapped under the tractor after it flipped.

Police are still seeking witnesses to the crash and urge people to contact them on 06 759 5500.

And about 10pm on Tuesday 35-year-old Manuel Tawhai, of Panmure, died after his bike and a taxi collided on Reeves Rd, Pakuranga.

Police would like to speak with anybody who saw a blue Yamaha sports bike being driven around Ti Rakau Drive or the Pakuranga Highway area around the time of the crash.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Constable Glen Carlyle of the Counties Manukau Serious Crash Unit on 09 215 4604.

Two people also died on Monday.

Desmond Wigg, 63, from Pukekohe died after a white Toyota Corolla crashed into the back of his Toyota Yaris hatchback on Mangere Rd, Otahuhu, about 7pm.

Constable Carlyle is also appealing for witnesses for that crash to contact him.

During the early hours of Monday morning Joshua David Park, 23, died after his tractor crashed on Hetherington Rd in Ruawaro, northwest of Huntly, at 2.45am.

Park, who was from overseas but was working in Huntly, died after being flung from the cab of the tractor after it went up a bank.

Waikato road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said fatigue and lack of a seatbelt appeared to be factors in the Huntly crash.

Police this morning have also named a motorcyclist who was killed after a crash in Eketahuna on Sunday.

He was 58-year-old Glen Evan Morgan of Masterton.

Police said the investigation into the crash was ongoing.

DEADLY DAYS

Monday
• Joshua David Park, 23, dies after he is thrown from his tractor near Huntly
• Desmond Wigg, 63, from Pukekohe dies after a car crashes into the back of his Toyota Yaris in Otahuhu at 10pm.

Tuesday
• Robin Coutanche, 70, dies after tractor rolls in New Plymouth
• Manuel Tawhai, 35, of Panmure dies after his bike and a taxi collided on Reeves Rd, Pakuranga.
• Corbin Morgan, 16, dies after car crashes near Matamata

Wednesday
• 21-year-old man and 25-year-old woman die after head-on crash on SH2, Mangatawhiri
• Woman dies after single vehicle crash on SH5
• Dayle Julian Barker, 43, dies after his motorbike and a truck collided, SH1, Ashburton

Thursday
• Woman dies after single vehicle crash on SH2 near Wairoa at 3.30am

- NZ Herald

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