Matamata teen dies in Kaimai crash
Matamata College staff and students are supporting each other after the death of a much-loved student.
Jasmine Clothier, 16, was killed in a car crash on the Kaimai Range highway on Saturday afternoon.
The teenager was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a collision with another car about 4pm.
Firefighters tried to cut her free but she died at the scene.
Although the cause of the crash is not yet known, conditions were wet at the time.
Tributes to her had begun to be posted on Facebook yesterday.
The driver of the vehicle and the sole occupant of the second car were not seriously injured .
Jasmine's death is another tragic blow for the college, which suffered the loss of another student one year ago. Zakariah Paul Lang was with two friends when he was killed by a single railway locomotive on a stretch of tree-shaded track running parallel to Firth St in the town.
Matamata College Board of Trustees chairman Bret Williams said the impact of the latest death was being felt throughout the school community.
"It is a terrible tragedy and it is going to have a huge impact on the school this week. Our thoughts are with [mum] Wendy and [sister] Crystal and the rest of their extended family."
Firefighters used the jaws of life to cut the trapped victim from the vehicle, fire service spokesman Jaron Phillips said.
Crews from Matamata, Tauranga and Greerton attended, and the road was closed for several hours on Saturday night.
Traffic was diverted through Paeroa for five hours as emergency crews cleared the road.
Meanwhile, a possible oil spill was the cause of two car accidents in the same spot on the Desert Road.
Two cars lost traction within minutes while coming over a brow in the road near Three Sisters about 1pm on Saturday, Turangi chief fire officer Tong Kingi said. The crew was on the way to the first single-car accident and by the time they arrived, a second car had spun out.
The occupants of both vehicles were fine and in good spirits, Kingi said.