Smash leaves one dead

ANNA WILLIAMS
Last updated 12:50 28/06/2012
SMASH
EMMA ALLEN

Highway carnage: Emergency crews work to free two men trapped in their vehicles after the crash yesterday on State Highway 6.

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One man is dead and another has been in surgery all night at Wellington Hospital after a head-on crash on State Highway 6 between Okaramio and Havelock yesterday afternoon.

Four vehicles carrying five people were involved in the crash just after 2.30pm. It involved a blue Falcon utility vehicle travelling towards Blenheim and three cars heading the opposite way, towards Havelock. The crash happened on a straight stretch of road and conditions were not icy.

Marlborough highway patrol manager Sergeant Barrie Greenall said the utility appeared to have crossed the centre line, where it clipped a vehicle heading in the opposite direction and crashed head-on into a white Toyota car following behind. A car behind the Toyota was also involved in the crash.

The 56-yerar-old driver of the Toyota, the only person in the car, was cut out and airlifted to Wellington Hospital about 3.30pm by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter. He was in a critical condition and died later in the day.

His name and other details had not been released early this afternoon.

The driver of the utility, a man also in his mid-50s and travelling alone, was trapped for more than an hour as emergency services worked to free him.

He was airlifted to Wellington Hospital by the Westpac rescue helicopter from Wellington about 4.30pm.

He was initially listed as critical and was in surgery until this morning. He was in recovery from theatre by 11am but his condition was not yet available.

Mr Greenall said the people in the other two cars involved, a man in one car and a man and a woman in the other, were not injured.

The Havelock fire crew was called out just after 2.40pm, followed by two fire crews from Renwick. Two St John Ambulances and three police units were also at the crash scene.

Traffic was backed up along SH6 more than 1.5 kilometres at both ends of the crash scene.

Some traffic was diverted until the road reopened about 5.30pm.

Senior Constable Maurice Horne, of Havelock, said Havelock police and the serious crash unit were investigating the cause of the crash.

This item has been updated since the original version

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- The Marlborough Express

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