Crashes close State Highway 2 in two places

SH2 blocked west of Opotiki
BEVAN READ/FAIRFAX NZ

SH2 blocked west of Opotiki

Seven people are in hospital following a crash involving two vehicles in the North Waikato on Friday.

It came less than an hour after a serious crash in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, which saw five children injured.

And in the Coromandel, a campervan has been involved in a two-vehicle crash north of Thames, blocking State Highway 25. Emergency services are still at the scene of a crash involving a campervan and car north of Thames.

One person is trapped inside the car. The crash, which occured at 5:20pm, has blocked SH25 and there are no alternative routes around the site.

The North Waikato crash happened at 2.30pm on State Highway 2, near Bombay, blocking the road from the SH1 turnoff at Pokeno to Mangatawhiri.

Police have encouraged motorists who are returning to Auckland from the Coromandel or Bay of Plenty to delay their journey or find an alternative route.

All seven patients were transported to Middlemore Hospital; four were in a serious condition, two suffered moderate injuries and one suffered minor injuries.

The road is expected to be blocked for the next few hours.

The New Zealand Transport Agency reported the crash on its Facebook page and said detours for SH2 traffic are in place at Mercer on Koheroa Rd or at Meremere on Island Block Rd. Heavy vehicles are advised to use Island Block Rd, as Koheroa Rd is unsuitable.

Waikato Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly said there were a number of driving complaints and travellers need to be patient.

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"Restraint and patience and drive to the conditions, especially with the incoming weather," O'Reilly said.

And in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, a head-on vehicle collision left one adult trapped and five with injuries.

The crash blocked the main road west of Opotiki.

Tauranga-based Trustpower TECT Rescue Helicopter transported the seriously injured person to hospital.

The crash happened on State Highway 2 at 1.50pm at Waiotahi, 14 kilometres west of Opotiki.

Diversions have been put in place from SH2 at Paerata Ridge Road to Old Creamery Road, Crooked Road, Hukataia Road, Woodlands Road and back on to SH2 at Opotiki. 

Northern Fire Communication shift manager Megan Ruru said the children had moderate injuries.

"There were a total of nine people involved in the crash and at the moment we are still there," said Ruru.

Two fire trucks from Opotiki were at the scene and police said there will be significant delays as they investigate the cause of the crash and clear the area. 

The Police Serious Crash unit will investigate.

 - Stuff

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