Tragic end to shift south
A man moving to Christchurch is dead and his two daughters are recovering in hospital after their four-wheel-drive truck clipped another vehicle and careened off a North Canterbury road.
The crash happened on Gressons Rd, Waikuku, about 500 metres west of State Highway 1, about 2.45pm yesterday.
The Chevrolet Blazer, travelling west towards Rangiora, had been passing a small truck when it clipped the front of it and went out of control.
Sergeant Colin Stewart, of the Rangiora police, said the 4WD skidded along the road before it "became airborne", flipped and landed upright in a paddock.
The 41-year-old man was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown from the vehicle as it flipped.
He died at the scene.
Stewart was unsure if the girls, aged between 5 and 7, were wearing seatbelts.
He understood the man was "moving down here seeking work" with his two daughters.
The driver of the other vehicle involved in the crash was not injured, but was "obviously shaken up".
Stewart said they had notified the man's partner, who lives in Christchurch, and expected to inform his parents last night.
Canterbury district road policing manager Al Stewart said the small truck had slowed down and was turning right when the dead man's vehicle attempted to overtake it.
As the truck turned, it clipped the 4WD, causing it to roll, he said.
It was not known whether speed was a factor in the crash.
Stewart said the death could have been avoided if the man was wearing a seatbelt.
"We can't stress enough the importance of wearing a seatbelt. You are at least 60 per cent more likely not to be seriously injured in a crash if you're wearing one, and this directly resulted in this man dying.
"It's such an easy thing to do, to take care of yourself and your family."
Stewart said 30 per cent of fatalities on Canterbury roads last year were linked to people not wearing seatbelts.
An investigation into the crash was under way, and the name of the dead man would be released today.
- © Fairfax NZ News