Motorway exit passes safety assessment

WILMA MCCORKINDALE
Last updated 12:40 10/06/2014

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Engineers have deemed an exit on to the southern motorway out of Dunedin safe and well signposted, Dunedin police say.

The region's policing manager Phil McDouall said MWH engineers had inspected the Abbotsford exit off the State Highway 1 southbound lane yesterday after a motorist drove the wrong way up the exit - a former two-way street - and on to the motorway causing a head-on crash on Sunday.

"They've been out and they've had a look at it during the day and during the night. They reckon the signs are okay - they're actually bigger than they have to be."

McDouall said it was too early to say whether charges would be laid against the elderly Balclutha woman whose car ended up colliding with an oncoming vehicle about 5.30pm on Sunday.

She had extensive fractures and remained in Dunedin Hospital in a stable condition and had a long journey to recovery, McDouall said.

A man driving the vehicle that was hit had two broken legs and a broken arm, McDouall said. A passenger had fractures to her arm. Another passenger, a 5-year-old girl who had abdominal injuries, was now out of intensive care and in a stable condition, he said.

Yesterday police said the driver of the vehicle that was hit may not have been able to see the other car was coming towards him because it was initially behind a larger vehicle which moved to another lane before the crash.

The police were also investigating whether or not the 5-year-old girl passenger was restrained in a booster seat, saying it appeared she was not.

That could be the reason she had received serious internal injuries, Senior Sergeant Al Dickie said yesterday. 

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