Charges likely after bad crash

IAIN SCOTT
Last updated 12:00 03/03/2014

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The driver of a car involved in a fatal crash outside Dannevirke is likely to be charged, with speed and alcohol believed to have been factors.

Daniel Troy Leslie, 31, of Waipukurau, died at the scene of the crash on the corner of State Highway 2 and Makirikiri Rd south of Dannevirke on Saturday afternoon.

Police said he was the front passenger in a Holden Commodore, which had two other occupants.

Acting Central District commander Inspector Pat Handcock said police using radar clocked the car travelling at 124kmh in a 50kmh zone as it was leaving Dannevirke.

The police car's lights and siren were activated, but the police officer had to wait for passing traffic before being able to do a U-turn and signal to the driver to pull over.

"By the time the officer had initiated the U-turn, the Commodore was far out of sight," Mr Handcock said.

The officer drove about a kilometre down the road, which Mr Handcock said entered a 70kmh zone, and found the car had hit a power pole on the other side of the road. It appeared the driver had failed to navigate a right-hand bend.

Police and fire service staff gave first aid to Mr Leslie and the other two occupants of the car, but Mr Leslie died at the scene. Ambulance staff attended to the driver and other passenger, who had minor injuries.

Preliminary indications suggested speed was a factor. Police believed alcohol may also have been a factor.

"The serious crash unit is continuing to investigate the crash and charges against the driver are likely," Mr Handcock said. "Officers are also in the process of speaking to witnesses, including the driver and rear-seat passenger of the Commodore."

The crash happened a day after another fatal crash near Sanson.

Kenneth William Piddington, 80, of Wellington, died in a crash between a between a car and a four-wheel-drive vehicle on State Highway 1 late Friday afternoon.

Police said at the weekend the serious crash unit was continuing to investigate, and the death had been referred to the coroner.

CRASH CLAIMS EX DIPLOMAT

A diplomat of "many talents" and a true conservationist in every sense was killed in a head-on collision on State Highway 1 near Sanson.

Wellington's Kenneth Piddington, 80, was on the way to his Ohakune eco-house when the crash happened on Friday afternoon.

Another man was injured in the crash outside Sanson, near Palmerston North. He had had minor to moderate injuries and was now in a stable condition, police said.

Mr Piddington was the first director of the New Zealand Planning Council in 1977.

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From 1980 to 1986 he was Commissioner for the Environment and then headed the Department of Conservation for its first two years before going to work for the World Bank in 1988.

- Manawatu Standard

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