Road death toll continues to climb during 'devastating' November

Mereana Fitzgerald died after a crash on SH5 on Wednesday. Here, she is pictured with son Chassy-Lee, 11. Photo / Supplied
Mereana Fitzgerald died after a crash on SH5 on Wednesday. Here, she is pictured with son Chassy-Lee, 11. Photo / Supplied

November's horror road toll continues with another person dying in the South Island.

The number of people killed so far this month now sits at 11, however, at least one other is in a critical condition after a crash in Hawke's Bay last night.

One was left with critical injuries and another serious injuries after the car they were in crashed into a fence on Riverbend Rd, Napier, just before 10.30pm.

A motorcyclist died while riding on the Lindis Pass Tarras Rd about 4pm yesterday.

On Friday, police labelled the statistic "devastating" and urged people to slow down and ensure they wore their seat belts.

Although 11 have died so far this month, 16 have died in the past 10 days.

Most of those to have died this year have been men - making up 196 of the 279 so far. Eighty-three women have died.

According to Minsitry of Transport figures, the drivers of vehicles are also the most likely to die at 139, followed by passengers at 66. There has also been an increase in motorcyclists at 66 compared with 62 at same time last year.

However, the number of pedestrians is lower - currently 21 compared with 25 - while the number of cyclists is the same - four.

A driver of a vehicle died after crash on SH2 at Waiotahi on Thursday night, while the other driver of the other vehicle was hospitalised in a critical condition.

And just a few hours later, at 12.30am Friday, a person died after their 4x4 crashed and rolled on Reid Road, Ruatoki.

Among the dead have been 31-year-old mother-of-one Mereana Fitzgerald who was on her way to help a friend when the car she was driving slid off the road, killing her.

She was driving towards Te Pohue on State Highway 5 with three passengers when she crashed just after 11.30pm last Wednesday.

Her sister Te Moana Fitzgerald said was a caregiver for those seriously ill, with mental health issues and disabilities.

She also adopted a son whangai and took full custody of one of her brothers.

Corbin Morgan was one of the youngest to die. The 16-year-old was heading to school on Tuesday after working at a chicken farm to raise money for a rugby trip to Argentina when the vehicle he was in crashed.

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.

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

Twenty-year-old Takumanawa Kara, from Hamilton, has been named as the woman who died after her car came off the road about 1km out of Raupunga, towards Wairoa, about 3.30am on Thursday.

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.
• Mereana Fitzgerald, 31, dies after single vehicle crash on SH5 at 11.30pm,
• Dayle Julian Barker, 43, dies after his motorbike and a truck collided, SH1, Ashburton.

Thursday
• Takumanawa Kara, 20, from Hamilton, 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.

Sunday
• Motorcyclist dies while travelling on the Lindis Pass Tarras Rd at 4pm

- NZ Herald

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