Ice blamed for Omarama crashes

Black ice has made driving treacherous in North Otago this morning.

Omarama police had attended two crashes by mid-morning, both caused by drivers losing control on black ice, Constable Nayland Smith said.

The first crash happened on the Omarama Twizel Rd at 6.30am when a van slid off the road. The driver, a woman, was the sole occupant.

''She got out of the vehicle, and then a truck and trailer [unit] slid on black ice as well [hitting the van].''

Smith said the van was severely damaged, but the truck managed to carry on to report the incident. No one was injured.

The second crash also involved a van on Prohibition Rd, which was transporting students from Waitaki Boys' and Girls' high schools. None of the seven students and two adults in the van were injured.

''Again, they were caught out on the black ice and ... rolled,'' Smith said.

''They were all okay. They were pretty lucky, actually, that no one was badly hurt.''

Smith urged motorists to drive to the conditions and to be aware of their surroundings.

''Be careful in those shaded areas when there's been a frost,'' he said.

No charges have been laid in either incident.

Contractors spent the morning laying grit in areas that had proved hazardous. 

The Timaru Herald