Police name victim of Levin car crash

Police have named the man killed in a three-car crash south of Levin.

Graham William Perry, 76, died in the crash on State Highway 1, Ohau, yesterday afternoon.

He had been taken to Wellington Hospital by the Palmerston North rescue helicopter after the crash at about 2.15pm, but did not survive.

Firefighters had to extract two people from two of the crashed vehicles. Three others – two women and a man – were in a stable condition in Palmerston North Hospital.

The police's preliminary investigation suggested that a north-bound Toyota Hilux crossed the centre line and crashed into a south-bound Suzuki Swift before colliding with a BMW.

Meanwhile, the crash is being cited as a reminder of why the all-but-approved next stage of the Kapiti Expressway is needed.

An independent board of inquiry has released its draft decision on the planned Peka Peka to Otaki expressway.

In an unanimous decision, the board granted provisional resource consent for the 13-kilometre, four-lane stretch of road that the NZ Transport Agency wants to build.

Kapiti Mayor Ross Church said crashes and road blockages were common on the stretch of highway, particularly on Friday afternoons and long weekends.

"You get people that insist we don't need this new expressway but, by jove we do," he said.

While the crash was north of where the expressway would end, it was a timely reminder that "the current road is just not adequate and it just doesn't work", Mr Church said.

The new road would bypass the Otaki town centre but the council had ensured there would be adequate access routes.

Now the draft decision has been released, only minor or technical aspects of it can be challenged before the board releases its final decision in February.

While the draft decision comes with pages of requirements NZTA must meet, none are expected to be a major hurdle.

The expressway is part of the Wellington Northern Corridor, a road of national significance that will eventually stretch from Wellington Airport to Levin.

NZTA spokesman Anthony Frith said the agency planned to begin construction in 2016, with a time frame of about two years.

The first stage of the Kapiti Expressway - a $630m project between McKays Crossing and Peka Peka - received resource consent this year.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the crash to contact Palmerston North Police on (06) 351 3600. Information can also be provided anonymously to the organisation Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Fairfax Media