Overtaking manoeuvre linked to fatal SH1 crash

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A fatal crash on State Highway 1 near Mata caused delays for motorists heading home after a weekend away.
A fatal crash on State Highway 1 near Mata caused delays for motorists heading home after a weekend away.

Police are yet to name a 65-year-old man who died in a four-vehicle crash near Mata on Sunday afternoon.

The collision occurred on State Highway 1, near Mata, about 22 kilometres south of Whangarei at 4.45pm, with the road remaining closed until 9.30pm.

A 65-year-old man driving a southbound Lexus died, and another person was admitted to Whangarei hospital for the night, while two others received minor injuries.

The deceased, whom police had yet to name, was the sole occupant in the Lexus.

Serious crash investigator Senior Constable Jim Hawthorn said the vehicles, three cars and a light truck, had been inspected and the investigation was ongoing. The accident appeared to be the result of an error made by one of the drivers while overtaking, he said.

The state highway remained closed until about 9.30pm as police, fire and ambulance services attended the scene. This caused traffic to back up in both directions, with diversions in place.

The death brings the region's road toll to 25 this year. There had been 15 road deaths at the same point in 2015.

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