Safety barrier installed at SH2 fatal crash site

By nathan.crombie@age.co.nz, Nathan Crombie


A $30,000 safety barrier has been installed beside a lethal stretch of SH2 near Masterton where a young mother died in a car crash a little more than two years ago.

Aimee Maree Wilson, 23, was killed when the car in which she was a passenger struck a power pole at the corner about 11.45pm on January 12, 2011. Two other passengers were seriously injured.

The driver was Mitchell George Sveistrup, then aged 21. He pleaded guilty to drink driving causing the death of Ms Wilson and injury to the other two passengers, and was sentenced to 21 months in jail and disqualified from driving for three years.

Caron Greenough, NZ Transport Agency principal safety engineer, said the barrier that was installed this week was part of numerous minor safety projects being completed throughout the country this year.

She said the barrier cost $30,000 to install and "is in line with our goal of achieving safer journeys by developing more forgiving roads and roadsides that reduce the risk of serious injuries or fatalities to road users".

"There was a serious crash there in 2011 resulting in a fatality and a number of serious injuries and due to the geometry of the road, there is still a risk of the power pole being struck again," Ms Greenough said.

"The ideal solution would be to remove or relocate the power pole but in consultation with the power company, it was considered that the most cost-effective solution was to put a barrier around it."

Ms Greenough said the barrier also will highlight the corner.

She said there are no plans to install other similar barriers on SH2 although extensions were considered for the new installation.

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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