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Intersection a major crash hotspot

SIMON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 03/10/2012
Botany intersection
Simon Smith

TRAFFIC DIVERTED: Police investigate a crash that closed the major Botany intersection for 90 minutes on Friday.

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Two major crashes in one day have police urging motorists to be patient at one of Auckland's biggest and busiest intersections.

Three people were taken to hospital on Friday after two crashes at the intersection that joins Botany Rd, Ti Rakau Dr and Te Irirangi Dr, in east Auckland.

A bus and ute collided about 5.50am, and then about 9.30am an accident between a people mover and a sedan caused traffic jams.

The junction was closed for 90 minutes.

There were 15 crashes causing injury at the intersection in the five years to the end of 2011 according to the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Some were caused by drivers rushing to get through traffic lights. Nobody was killed during that time but the social cost was said to be $1.7 million.

Senior Sergeant Laurie Culpan said drivers needed to be patient as the junction carried large volumes of traffic at most hours of the day.

''It would be helpful if everybody slowed down and stopped at orange lights rather than being in a rush and trying to squeeze through.''

If a driver can stop safely then it is an offence to go through an orange light, he said.

Constable Scott McMulkin said the intersection is one of the busiest in the country and he attends more crashes there than anywhere else.

St John northern communications team manager James Ihimaera said two patients were taken to Middlemore Hospital from the first crash, one with minor and the other with moderate injuries.

One person received moderate injuries in the second collision and was treated at the scene.

The second suffered critical injuries and was also taken to Middlemore.

Police would like witnesses to the 9.30am incident to contact the serious crash unit at the Manukau police station on 09 261 1300.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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