Two children die as road toll rises
A 4-year-old girl was killed when the car she was travelling in left the road and rolled near Owhango, south of Taumarunui yesterday.
Details of the single-vehicle crash remained sketchy last night, but it is understood the girl was with two adults in the car, which was travelling north on State Highway 4 when the crash happened shortly before 1pm, just south of the township.
Initial reports were the vehicle crossed over the centre line and rolled, police spokesman Inspector Marty Parker said.
The other occupants of the car, who suffered moderate injuries, had to be removed from the wreck by firefighters. They were taken to Taumarunui Hospital by St John Ambulance.
The crash was one of three fatal accidents in the past two days.
An 11-month-old girl from Paraparaumu died after her parents' car hit a barrier and flipped on to its roof on Saturday on State Highway 1 near Raumati South, where two lanes merge into one.
Kapiti Coast police are investigating the accident, which snarled northbound holiday traffic for almost three hours. No other vehicles were involved.
The girl suffered serious head injuries and was flown to Wellington Hospital, where she died yesterday morning.
Her death has been referred to the coroner.
Her father was discharged from hospital yesterday but her mother remained in intensive care.
Later yesterday one person died after a crash involving seven people in three vehicles on the Te Anau-Mossburn Highway in northern Southland.
Police said four other people were in a serious condition.
The crash happened near Centre Hill about 3.30pm.
Two of the vehicles had two occupants, with the third carrying three people, police said.
Three helicopters attended the scene and flew three patients to Southland Hospital. One then returned to transport the fourth seriously injured patient to Dunedin Hospital.
The latest crash brings the Christmas/New Year road toll to four, after a promising start over Christmas.
Police and the Ministry of Transport measure the holiday period from December 24 to January 3.
Over the same period last year, there were six fatal crashes and 237 injuries, of which 70 were serious.
New Zealand continues to head for a record low total road toll for 2013.
The toll now stands at 252, down from 302 the previous year.