Fifteen people dead in 'disastrous' seven days on New Zealand roads

Fifteen people have died on New Zealand roads in the last seven days, including two in a crash on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri. Photo / Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter
Fifteen people have died on New Zealand roads in the last seven days, including two in a crash on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri. Photo / Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter

Fifteen people have died in the last seven days on New Zealand roads, in a period police have proclaimed as "disastrous."

"Every death on our roads is a tragedy and 15 families who have lost a loved one are now dealing with the aftermath," road policing assistant police commissioner Dave Cliff said.

Already, only five days into November, 10 people have died.

Last year, four people died across the whole month.

Among the dead are 16-year-old Corbin Morgan - who was heading to school on Tuesday after working at a chicken farm to raise money for a rugby trip to Argentina.

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.

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

In Oakura, Taranaki, Robin Coutanche, 70, died after his tractor rolled. It's believed to have collided with an oncoming car that was overtaking.

Coutanche's death notice describes him as the "adored Papa of Lily and Ben".

One of those killed in a road crash this week is 16-year-old Corbin Morgan - who was heading to school on Tuesday after working at a chicken farm to raise money for a rugby trip to Argentina.
One of those killed in a road crash this week is 16-year-old Corbin Morgan - who was heading to school on Tuesday after working at a chicken farm to raise money for a rugby trip to Argentina.

In lieu of flowers his family asked for donations to be made to the local St John ambulance service.

On Monday, 63-year-old father of father of six Des Wigg died when a car crashed into the back of his Toyota Yaris in Otahuhu.

On Wednesday, 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.

Two died in a crash on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri, Waikato on Wednesday. Photo / Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
Two died in a crash on State Highway 2 at Mangatawhiri, Waikato on Wednesday. Photo / Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

And overnight, two people died in crashes in the Bay of Plenty, and one person remains in a critical condition.

There have been 278 road deaths so far this year, up on 264 at the same time last year.

In October, 24 people died in road crashes, down from 32 in last year.

Cliff said police expected another 60 to 70 people would die in road crashes before the end of this year.

"Just under one person will die each day in a road crash if you average it out."

He said the majority of crashes were preventable.

"One of the biggest ways you can reduce your risk of being involved in a crash is to be mindful of other road users, and changing your driving to ensure you and your vehicle's occupants arrive at your destination safely.

"We know people sometimes can make mistakes and the way you drive needs to allow for mistakes others may make," Cliff said.

Caroline Perry, director of Brake - an organisation that works with families bereaved in road crashes - said it was saddening that 15 families have had the terrible news that a loved one isn't coming home in the last seven days.

Drive to survive:

• Be alert and aware of other road users.
• Change your driving to suit the conditions, including the weather, changes in traffic levels and road conditions.
• Watch your speed.
• Reduce your speed in adverse conditions.
• Allow enough time for your journey and don't rush.
• Make sure you and everyone in your car wears a seat belt or has the appropriate restraint.
• Drive considerately - the way we drive affects others.
• Check everyone in your vehicle is wearing a seat belt or appropriate child restraint.
• Stay 100 per cent focused on the road, every time you're at the wheel.


Deadly Days

Friday
• German teen Jasper Lewin Stamme, 18, died in a crash on Te Puke Highway near Papamoa.

Saturday
• Motorcyclist Richard James Bennett, 32, of Hamilton, died after a collision on Greenwood Street, Hamilton.

Sunday
• 58-year-old motorcyclist Glen Evan Morgan of Masterton was killed after a crash in Eketahuna.

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 died 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.
• A person died after a head on collision on SH2, Waiotahi about 8.20pm. Another person is in a critical condition.

Friday
• A person died after a 4WD crashed and rolled in Ruatoki at 12.30am.

- NZ Herald

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