Eight dead in nine hours as road toll closes in on 2016’s total
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Kiwi drivers are hurtling toward last year's road toll with eight dead over the weekend - and there's still two months to go.
From 3pm Friday to 12am Saturday eight people were killed on New Zealand's roads. Three of them were hit by trains at level crossings.
Conditions, speed, and cars crossing the centre line are possible factors for the deaths in six separate incidents.
Last night the road toll stood at 323. In 2016 the road toll was 328 - the highest it's been since 2010, when 375 died on our roads.
Yesterday superintendent Steve Greally said the deadly start to the weekend came off the back of a "disastrous" month on our roads.
"It really is getting catastrophic...it's now a battle zone on our roads," he said.
"It's just so sudden. It's so hard for those families to deal with."
Greally said the carnage on Kiwi roads was of particular concern for police as we head into summer, when a lot of people would be out socialising.
"I don't know why the public is not feeling more outraged...because if [the road toll] was the homicide rate we would have a lot more to say.
If this was the number of people dying as the result of plane crashes in this country we would have a lot to say," he said.
Just before 3pm on Friday a Subaru Justy crossed the centre line On SH1 near the Towai Tavern.
Senior Sergeant Ian Row said the car heading south crossed the centre line and smashed into a northbound vehicle, forcing it off the road.
A couple were travelling in that car.
Police believed the Subaru Justy also collided with a second car heading north and that vehicle also had a couple on board.
Two men and two women from the northbound vehicles suffered moderate injuries.
The female driver of the car heading south died at the scene.
Associate Minister for Transport, Shane Jones told the Northern Advocate he was horrified to hear of the second fatal car crash on Northland roads in three days.
"We need to improve the level of investment and the access to funding to enable the North to improve the most egregious conditions of our roads."
Matt Grayson from nearby Towai Tavern said the road surface on the stretch of SH1 was in poor condition with potholes and uneven tarseal.
Exactly one hour after the fatal Towai crash another person died in a three car crash, also on SH1, but in the South Island town of Morven.
Four people were also injured, two moderately and two seriously.
At 9.10pm further up the South Island in Maruia in the Buller District another person was killed in a two car crash on State Highway 65.
One male was still in a critical condition in Christchurch Hospital last night, and a female was in a stable condition, as a result of the accident.
The crash involved a long haul PBT Group truck and a van.
An hour later a car rolled on SH1 in Te Horo on the Kapiti Coast leaving one person critically injured.
One hour later two pedestrians were killed on a level crossing in Papakura.
Police said the pair died on impact at the incident at the Boundary Rd railway crossing at 11.07pm.
They were struck by a southbound train travelling from Papakura to Pukekohe.
Less than an hour later two more people were killed when the car the were in hit a tree on Access Road, Kumeu, West Auckland.
It is understood the pair died at the scene.
- NZ Herald