Road deaths mount up

SARAH-JANE CONNOR
Last updated 23:44 04/01/2014

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While the official holiday period ended on Friday morning, road accidents continued to mount up today.

The provisional holiday period road toll stood at seven on Friday morning, though a woman died following a car crash in West Auckland this morning and a motorcyclist was killed when he crashed into a car in northern Waikato this evening.

About 10pm a motorcyclist collided with a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction on SH1 in the Taupiri area, north of Hamilton.

This morning, Georgina Rawinia Rikiti, 38, was taken to hospital after the car she was driving collided with a tree in New Lynn shortly after 8am. She was in a critical condition when she arrived at hospital but died shortly afterwards.

The police serious crash unit is investigating the cause of the accident and say their investigation will take several weeks to complete.

This afternoon a motorcyclist was injured after a crash with a commercial bus on SH1 near Manakau, north of Otaki.

Police said the motorcyclist was lucky to have survived, but he received moderate injuries to his lower back and lacerations to his body. It did not appear that anyone on the bus was injured.

A woman was also seriously injured in a crash near Taupo. She was transported by helicopter following the accident near the intersection of SH1 and Oruanui Rd.

Meanwhile, the two most seriously injured people from a van crash on the Napier-Taupo Road continue to show signs of improvement.

Relatives have maintained a vigil at the bedsides of the eight casualties, after the van they were in plummeted down a 10-metre bank early on Thursday.

Close family friend Jarnail Singh said the family were stressed after near constant media requests over the past few days and now requested privacy.

The infant Manmeet had improved from critical to serious but stable on Friday and, along with the other critically injured passenger Jagtar Singh, continued to show signs of improvement yesterday, Jarnail Singh said.

Last year's Christmas-New Year holiday road toll was six, the equal-lowest on record.

New Zealand's annual road toll for 2013 was 254, which was the lowest since 1950.

HOLIDAY TOLL

Seven people died on New Zealand roads over the official holiday period, between 4pm Christmas Eve and 6am on Friday.

- Sandy Paul Waenga Brown, 21, of Paua, died south of Cape Reinga in the early hours of Christmas Day.

- Olivia Lu, 11 months, died after a single-car crash on State Highway 1 near Raumati South on December 28.

- A 56-year-old woman from China died in a crash between Te Anau and Mossburn in Southland on December 29.

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- Kahui Matauwhati, 4, of Masterton, died in a crash at Owhango, 21 kilometres south of Taumarunui, on December 29.

- Lynelle Joy Bray, 46, died in a collision between a bus and car in Hamilton on December 30.

- Gregory John Spargo, 50, of Auckland, died in a motorcycle crash near Bulls on New Year's Eve.

- A male motorcyclist died in a collision between his bike and a car on the Napier-Taihape road on Thursday.

- Fairfax Media

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