Five people have been killed on roads in the Rotorua district in the last two months and police are urging people to "drive like you have the most precious cargo on board".

This time last year, there had been just one fatal crash in the Rotorua district. By the end of 2018 that number was 11.

In the wider Bay of Plenty there have been 14 roading deaths this year and Bay of Plenty road policing manager Inspector Brent Crowe urged people to follow road safety basics to avoid the extreme heartache.

"It's difficult to comprehend that 14 families have had to endure the heartbreak of losing a family member due to a vehicle crash on Bay of Plenty roads this year.

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"Drive like you have the most precious cargo on board, because it's your life you're risking, along with anybody else in your car or sharing the road with you.

"The bottom line is we are all working towards keeping people safe on our roads so that we don't have to attend another fatal crash and families don't have to plan another funeral."

Sunday marked the most recent of the roading tragedies when a car collided with two motorcyclists on State Highway 30 near Hell's Gate.

A woman riding a motorcycle was killed in a crash and another was taken to Rotorua Hospital with serious injuries where she is recovering.

Crowe said it was too soon to say how the crash happened but the police's Serious Crash Unit would do a thorough investigation.

He has urged any witnesses to contact police on (07) 348 0099.

The horrific year on the district's roads started on January 6 when 60-year-old local man Ronald Gladding was killed in a crash on the straight stretch of Broadlands Rd, 300m north of the intersection with East Rd, near Reporoa.

Emergency services, including rescue helicopters, responded to the crash.

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Then on January 29 a 57-year-old man died on SH36 between Gloucester Rd and Tauranga Direct Rd, Ngongotahā after the motorcycle he was riding crashed with a tractor

He died at the scene and his name has not been formally released.

Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash Jaurary 6, on Broadlands Rd between Rotorua and Taupo. Photo / Ben Fraser
Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash Jaurary 6, on Broadlands Rd between Rotorua and Taupo. Photo / Ben Fraser

Following the crash Hamurana Ratepayers' Association chairman Jerry Douglas urged a speed reduction, which he said had made a big difference on another stretch in the area.

Days later on February 3, Herewini Gavigan, 24, died after he crashed the motorcycle he was riding on SH38 near Murupara.

The motorcycle had disappeared from the scene by the time police arrived and a month on it is still missing.

Acting Senior Sergeant Joe Cairns had said, at the time of the crash, this was "a tragedy that has happened to this young man, and police are trying to establish the events that led up to his death".

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A police media spokeswoman said their inquiry into the crash was ongoing but they were still looking for the motorbike.

"Police are continuing to investigate and are following a number of strong leads."

No one had come forward with information on the vital piece of evidence.

The scene of a crash where a motorcyclist died and his bike was missing near Murupara, February 3. Photo / Stephen Parker
The scene of a crash where a motorcyclist died and his bike was missing near Murupara, February 3. Photo / Stephen Parker

On February 18 Lisa Amy Taylor, 35, died in Reporoa after her car crashed in a ditch on Birch Rd near Massey Rd at 8.30pm.

Two ambulances were sent to the scene, and Rotorua police Senior Sergeant Denis Murphy said the car the woman was driving lost control.

Tyre marks were seen on Massey Rd where a woman crashed and died on February 18. Daily Post Photo / Stephen Parker
Tyre marks were seen on Massey Rd where a woman crashed and died on February 18. Daily Post Photo / Stephen Parker

The 2019 victims

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January 6, Ronald Gladding, 60, Broadlands Rd, Reporoa

January 29, name not released, 57, SH36 between Gloucester Road and Tauranga Direct Road, Ngongotaha

February 3, Herewini Gavigan, 24, State Highway 38, Murupara

February 18, Lisa Amy Taylor, 25, Birch Rd, Reporoa

March 4, victim name still to be released, State Highway 30, Tikitere

Rotorua road deaths
2012 - 4
2013 - 8
2014 - 4
2015 - 5
2016 - 8
2017 - 4
2018 - 11

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