Pair killed in head-on crash

German and Frenchman share ride

IAN ALLEN AND ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 10:00 06/12/2012
Pelorus Crash
Colin Smith

HORROR CRASH: The scene of the crash near Pelorus Bridge yesterday.

CRASH SCENE: Police and fire brigade officers attend the scene of the crash near the Pelorus Bridge.
CRASH SCENE: Police and fire brigade officers attend the scene of the crash near the Pelorus Bridge.

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The two men who died yesterday after a head-on collision near Pelorus Bridge had only just met, police say.

The two dead men, one from France and the other from Germany, were travelling with a 25-year-old woman toward Nelson when their Mitsubishi station wagon crossed the centre line and collided with a 4WD ute about 1pm.

Tasman District police communications manager Barbara Dunn said the 33-year-old Marlborough woman who was alone in the ute is in a stable condition in Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim. The woman has a broken ankle and requires surgery.

She also has significant bruising to her body and face.

The 25-year-old German woman who was a passenger in the station wagon is also in a stable condition in Wairau Hospital. She has a broken collar bone and is also badly bruised.

The German woman told police she and the two men had only met recently and were sharing a ride. Two of them were going to the Abel Tasman while the other was heading to Nelson.

Autopsy examinations were being done today on both the dead men.

Police are hoping to release their names later today after their next of kin have been notified, Ms Dunn said.

The crash happened on the Nelson side of the Pelorus Bridge on State Highway 6 between Blenheim and Nelson.

Serious crash investigators are back at the crash scene today working to establish exactly what happened.

Senior Sergeant Peter Payne, of Blenheim, said yesterday the weather conditions at the time of the crash were "atrocious".

It appeared at least one of the men was not wearing a seatbelt, he said. "People need to drive to the conditions, especially when wet, and they need to be wearing seatbelts."

The accident closed State Highway 6 for more than two hours, cutting travel between Nelson and Marlborough, before a lane was reopened about 3.30pm. 

The Pelorus Bridge Cafe, at the campground, sheltered three busloads of tourists, as well as many travellers from cars, who were waiting for the road to reopen. 

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- The Marlborough Express

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