A 15-year-old girl was killed when she was flung from a ute as the vehicle collided with a train near Carterton this morning, police say.
Senior Sergeant Carolyn Watson of Masterton said the ute appeared to drive straight into the side of the train, collapsing the front and sending it spinning out of control.
Grace Ellen Diedrichs, a passenger in the ute, was flung 20 metres from the vehicle. She was found dead at the scene, police said.
The driver, a 17-year-old boy, remained in the ute and suffered moderate head injuries. He is currently in Masterton Hospital.
Watson said it appeared the driver did not see the vehicle until it too late. He collided about 5 metres from the front of the train, puncturing its diesel tank.
"I don't know why he didn't see it."
It took the train 510 metres to stop after the collision.
Train passengers waited 90 minutes before they were allowed to leave the train, catching a bus onto Wellington.
Those who spoke to The Dominion Post said they did not notice the impact or see any debris when they alighted.
The driver of the train was shaken but not injured and was being supported by police and Victim Support, along with KiwiRail staff.
Less than an hour later, a man died after a motorcycle crashed off State Highway 1 near Dunsandel, south of Christchurch.
Police said no other vehicles were involved.
In a third fatal crash today, a 33-year-old Rotorua woman was killed in a head-on crash with a van on State Highway 2 between Papamoa and Te Puke about 4.15pm.
The woman’s 14-year-old son was seriously injured in the crash and is in Waikato Hospital fighting for his life.
A second 14-year-old who was in the woman’s car and four people who were travelling in the van were taken to Tauranga Hospital with minor injuries, police said.
The woman was driving towards Papamoa. As she negotiated a moderate left hand bend she crossed the centre line and collided with a van travelling in the opposite direction.
Police are yet to release the name of the dead woman.
- © Fairfax NZ News