Charges likely over fatal crash
The driver of a car involved in a crash on State Highway 2 outside Dannevirke that led to the death of a passenger is likely to be charged, police say.
Police have named the dead man as Daniel Troy Leslie, 31, of Waipukurau.
Acting central district commander Inspector Pat Handcock said a police unit using radar clocked the car travelling at 124kmh in a 50kmh zone as it was leaving Dannevirke yesterday.
The police car's lights and siren were activated, but the police officer had to wait for passing traffic before being able to perform a U-turn safely and signal to the driver to pull over.
''By the time the officer had initiated the U-turn the Commodore was far out of sight,'' Handcock said.
The officer drove about 1 kilometre down the road, which Handcock said entered a 70kmh zone, and found the car had hit a power pole on the other side of the road.
Attending police and Fire Service staff gave first aid to Leslie and the other two occupants of the car, but Leslie died at the scene.
Ambulance staff saw to the driver and other passenger, who had sustained minor injuries.
Preliminary indications suggested speed was a factor and the driver had failed to navigate a right-hand bend in the road. Police believe alcohol may be been another factor.
''The serious crash unit is continuing to investigate the crash and charges against the driver are likely,'' Handcock said. ''Officers are also in the process of speaking to witnesses including the driver and rear-seat passenger of the Commodore.''
The crash occurred a day after another fatal crash near Sanson.
Kenneth William Piddington, 80, of Wellington, was killed in a crash between a between a car and a four-wheel drive vehicle on State Highway 1 near Sanson late Friday afternoon.
Police said at the weekend the serious crash unit was continuing to investigate, and the death had been referred to the coroner.