Wanganui man critical after collision kills two

By Aaron van Delden


A Wanganui man remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit following a fatal road smash near Normanby on Saturday.

The 24-year-old, who has multiple fractures and chest injuries, was flown from Taranaki Base Hospital to Waikato Hospital early yesterday morning in a serious condition.

He was the driver of a van that collided head-on with a group of motorcyclists involved in the annual Round the Mountain charity toy run shortly after midday on State Highway 3 just outside Normanby in South Taranaki, and one of the five people hospitalised by the crash.

Reports suggested he was trapped in the vehicle, which had five occupants.

The man's brother said on Facebook that he was "doing better", and was talking and asking how everyone was.

Police said two motorcyclists were killed in the collision .

They were Kelly Richard Reardon, 40, of Waitara and Gordon Thomas McKay, 68, of Bell Block, New Plymouth.

Three other men injured in the crash remained in Taranaki Base Hospital. Two of them, aged 22 and 27, were in a comfortable condition, and a 62-year-old was described as stable.

Meanwhile, a 42-year-old man, who was also injured in the collision, had been transferred to Middlemore Hospital in Auckland in a serious but stable condition.

The police's Serious Crash Unit is investigating the crash.

The men's deaths were among six fatalities, including four motorcyclists, and more than a dozen injuries on North Island roads this weekend.

A total of 267 people had died on the roads in the year to Friday - up on 250 by the same Friday last year - with the weekend fatalities bringing the total road toll to 273 this year.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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