A man who overtook a friend's car is believed to have caused a head-on crash that killed an Auckland grandmother and left her daughter badly injured.
The man, Kyle Jack Sellers, 19, of Whangaparoa, was also killed in the crash on Bawden Rd, Dairy Flat, at midday yesterday.
Sergeant Stu Kearns of the Waitemata Serious Crash Unit said it appeared Mr Sellers, driving a black Holden Executive, was passing a vehicle driven by a woman when the crash occurred. As he drove downhill, he crossed double-yellow no passing lines, smashing head-on into a Honda Jazz containing Lois Marjorie Booth, 70, and her daughter Linda Gedye, who turns 48 today. Mrs Booth died at the scene in the crumpled wreck which came to rest wedged in a ditch next to the smash site.
Mrs Gedye was cut free from the car by firefighters and airlifted to Auckland Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with serious injuries. She underwent surgery to a badly broken leg last night. She also suffered broken ribs and severe bruising in the crash.
Her husband, Grant Gedye, said last night that his wife and mother-in-law were out looking at real estate when the crash occurred. The family was still in shock and was "devastated" by their loss.
"She was very much loved."
Mrs Booth and her husband Doug had two children and one grandson. They lived with the Gedyes at their Dairy Flat home after selling their home, as they looked for a new home to buy.
Mr Gedye wished to thank police, Westpac Rescue Helicopter and Auckland Hospital staff, who he said had been amazing. "It's not a nice job that they have to do. They deserve some recognition."
He said the family felt no anger to Mr Sellers.
"From our point of view it's still early days and the family of the other bloke are grieving as well, and we feel for them. At this stage there's no animosity or anything like that."
One of the first people on the crash scene, Wayne Langman, said he was shocked to hear the smash, which occurred about 100 metres from his partner's home.
"We just heard a loud bang - no screeches of tyres or anything," he said. He often saw or heard cars speeding along the straight stretch of road, particularly on weekends. Some people treated the road like a "drag strip", he said. "The occasional car just flies along here."
Police are not sure of the speeds involved in the crash but said it occurred on a rural road which had a speed limit of 100km/h. The woman who was being overtaken stopped and returned to the crash scene. Police were unable to confirm her relationship to the man but are to interview her as a witness.