Woman's death baffles

Last updated 06:55 02/07/2013
investigation
Ian Allen

A serious crash investigator was carrying out further tests yesterday to determine the cause of a fatality at Riverlands Industrial Estate, near Blenheim

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Workers at Riverlands Industrial Estate are baffled by the death of a woman after she was struck by a car close to the turnoff to the estate on Sunday night.

It was unusual for pedestrians to be walking along that section of State Highway 1 at night, they said.

Police have identified the woman as 33-year-old Anna-Mateen Koura Jenkins, of Blenheim.

Tasman District police communications manager Barbara Dunn said a serious crash investigator was back at the scene yesterday morning to determine the cause of the accident.

"Police are working to establish the victim's movements before the crash and would like to speak with anyone who saw a woman wearing dark-coloured clothing on the roadside in the area at that time."

An autopsy was expected to be completed later today, Ms Dunn said.

Riverlands workers said anybody that far out of town normally walked on the grass next to the highway, which was quite a distance from the outer road markings.

The stretch of highway has a 100kmh speed limit and no street lighting.

MD Freighting manager Lance Turner quashed any potential calls to extend street lighting out to the industrial estate.

"We can't afford extra lighting on our rates, not way out here," he said. "It's not really an issue. If people are walking, they are normally right over beside the grass. You shouldn't be on the road at that time of night in dark clothing."

Hitch-hikers were common on the road but mostly during the day, Mr Turner said.

Prenzel trade sales assistant Shelley Bedingfield said workers on the Recognised Seasonal Employment scheme often walked along SH1, but closer to town.

They mostly wore dark clothing, although one in their group might have a fluorescent jacket, she said.

However, people did walk their dogs up and down the grass verge, said Ms Bedingfield, who drove to work from Ward every morning.

Car lights were so strong these days that, even on dip, they could be blinding, she said.

Heagney Bros managing director Peter Heagney said there was accommodation at the Truck Stop, south of the industrial estate.

However, seasonal workers normally had transport provided for them to get to and from work, he said.

"It seems a bit funny to be walking along there," Mr Heagney said.

"There are not many out this way."

The lane that turned into the estate, off SH1, could be wider and there should be a merger lane leaving the site, Mr Heagney said.

"Where you have starting and stopping traffic is when you have problems," he said.

"This is a major industrial estate with a lot of vehicles coming in 24 hours a day."

 

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- The Marlborough Express

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