Driver dies

Last updated 06:44 10/03/2014

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A 73-year-old Paraparaumu man has died following a head-on crash north of Kaikoura on Thursday afternoon.

A hospital spokesman confirmed the man died in Wellington Hospital on Friday afternoon after the campervan he was driving and a four-wheel-drive vehicle collided on a bend at Mangamaunu, on State Highway 1, about 4.15pm.

Police would not release the man's name until next of kin had been notified.

The 26-year-old man driving the 4WD underwent surgery in Christchurch Hospital on Friday morning and was still in a serious but stable condition, a hospital spokeswoman said yesterday.

State Highway 1 was closed for about four hours while the drivers of both vehicles were cut from the wreckage, and the serious accident investigation team completed their work.

St John spokeswoman Ann Sutherland said both men were flown to hospital by a Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The man who had died had suffered leg injuries after being trapped in the vehicle but remained conscious and had been talking after the crash, Ms Sutherland said.

His wife, 68, who was a passenger in the campervan, was not hurt but was shaken by the accident.

The 4WD driver had not regained consciousness before being airlifted to Christchurch, and had suffered a serious head injury and a fractured femur, she said.

Police said the younger man had been travelling from Queenstown to Hastings to see family.

Kaikoura Volunteer Fire Brigade chief Ian Walker said it was unusual for both drivers to be trapped in their vehicles.

The brigade had to use cutting gear, spreaders and hydraulic rams to free both men.


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- The Marlborough Express

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