Two people have died following serious crashes over the weekend, bringing Northland’s road toll to 22, compared to 13 at the same time last year.
A two-vehicle crash on Friday claimed the life of one person. The Northern Advocate understands one person was critically injured and the other seriously. Both were transported to Whangārei Hospital on the night.
The accident involved two cars and occurred on State Highway 1 near Mata, south of Whangārei and was reported to police at 7.10pm. SH1 was closed and traffic was diverted until 1.10am.
One man died following a two-vehicle crash on Saturday. He received serious injuries, was transported to Whangārei Hospital in a critical condition and died in hospital that afternoon.
The crash occurred in Whangārei at the intersection of Western Hills Drive and Percy St, and was reported to police at 9.50am.
Inquiries into the two crashes continue and Police have yet to release the names of the two people who died.
The sobering news is the latest in a string of fatal accidents that have occurred in Te Tai Tokerau, despite ongoing warnings from police and road safety campaigners.
The 2022 total of 38 road deaths was the highest in 22 years, however, this year’s toll of 22 so far is rising quickly.
The Northern Advocate previously reported a horror week on Northland’s roads, with five deaths occurring in a single week, threein the Far North.
The crashes included a single-vehicle crash in Pukenui where one person died, a serious crash west of Whangārei which claimed the lives of two people, and a crash involving two trucks on State Highway 10 at Kaingaroa in the Far North, where another two people died.
RoadSafe Northland co-ordinator Ashley Johnston previously told the Advocate that road safety was everybody’s responsibility ‘’and we all need to play a part in making sure we all come home to our loved ones at the end of the day’'.
Johnston reminded people to drive to the conditions and to also consider changes in the roads such as potholes after recent weather events.
Johnston’s road safety tips included:
● Restraints – wear your seatbelts, no excuses.
● Impairment – make sure you and those around you are not driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs – that includes illegal drugs but also prescription medication, educate yourself on the effects of driving on your medication and ask your medical professional directly if it is safe to be driving on this medication.
● Fatigue – think about regular breaks, getting adequate sleep and ask yourself how do you feel?
● Speed – slow down – your speed can dictate whether you walk away from a crash or not.