Two hospitalised after Kapiti crash

02:22, Dec 20 2012
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HARD IMPACT: A Toyota Platz, left, which crossed the centre line, hitting a BMW. The BMW's wheel came off and hit the Toyota SUV, right.

A family watched in horror as a car they were following crossed the centreline and collided head on with another at 100 kilometres an hour today.

Margaret Cathie, of Auckland, was driving her husband and two sons south between Otaki and Te Horo when the driver she was following veered across into the northbound passing lane on State Highway 1, shortly before midday.

The Toyota Platz, driven by a 76-year-old Levin man, crashed head-on with a BMW driven by an Upper Hutt woman, aged 46.

Mrs Cathie avoided the crash but a wheel flew off the BMW and smashed into their Toyota SUV.

She said she pulled off to the side of the road and had braked by the time the wheel hit the car.

‘‘It was very scary when I suddenly realised the guy in front was drifting into the oncoming traffic.’’

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She said the northbound lanes were solid with traffic at the time.

The family, who were heading to the South Island on holiday, and their two dogs were uninjured.

The elderly man was taken to Palmerston North Hospital by ambulance with moderate injuries, the Upper Hutt woman was taken to Hutt Hospital with an injured ankle, said police.

Mrs Duthie said the man who crossed the centreline had been travelling at about 100kmh and driving normally before veering across the centreline. She understood he was possibly a diabetic and may have had a medical turn.

Senior constable Peter Smith said it was too early to determine what caused the crash, but confirmed the man had crossed the double yellow centreline separating the northbound passing lane from the southbound lane.

The cars collided driver’s side to driver’s side, coming to rest about 100 metres apart.

The crash occurred on a straight section of highway about 500m north of Te Horo. SH1 was closed for about 1.5 hours, with traffic diverted around Te Waka and Addington Rds.

The Serious Crash Unit was investigating.

- Kapiti Observer

The Dominion Post