Fatal crash victim named

Taumarunui police have released the name of a young Kapiti Coast woman who died when the car she was driving collided with an ambulance and a paramedic emergency response vehicle in the central North Island yesterday.

She was Rhya Leanne Macready, aged 18 years, of Paraparaumu. 

A 48-year-old male relative who was a passenger in the Mazda car is critically ill in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit with head and chest injuries.

A female paramedic, the sole occupant of the emergency response vehicle, is also in Waikato Hospital where she is being treated for leg injuries.  Her condition is stable.

Two officers in the first ambulance were uninjured.   The elderly couple they were transporting sustained no further injuries however their male patient is in Waikato Hospital in a stable condition and his wife is due to be released today from Taumarunui Hospital from injuries received when their car went off an icy road.

Acting Senior Sergeant Paul Dowie, Taumarunui Police, said the fatality happened about 4.30pm on SH41 between Taumarunui and Turangi. 

The ambulance was transporting the elderly couple to Taumarunui Hospital after their car had skidded off the road and into a ditch during a hailstorm. The ambulance was travelling in convoy with the emergency response car when the second crash happened, about 11km out of Taumarunui.

Acting Senior Sergeant Dowie said the cause of the crash is being investigated.  It appears however that the Mazda clipped the back of the ambulance and then crashed head on into the emergency response car. It was raining heavily at the time.

The road was closed for more than three hours as emergency services worked to clear the scene.

Manawatu Standard