Argentinian dies in Qtown crash

A young Argentinian woman who was killed on her way to work at Millbrook Resort early yesterday morning was described by friends as a nice girl who was a pleasure to be around.

Carolina Patron Costas, 23, died after her vehicle left Malaghans Rd and slid into a poplar tree about 6.50am yesterday.

Acting Sergeant Terry Wood said Ms Patron Costas was the sole occupant of the car and was deceased when emergency services arrived at the scene.

"The scene suggests the driver has lost control and slid sideways into a tree. No other cars appear to have been involved at this stage."

The incident occurred on a straight stretch of road between Dalefield and Hunter roads. The police serious crash unit from Alexandra conducted a scene examination and Malaghans Rd, between Hunter and Dalefield roads, was closed to traffic all morning. A vehicle examination is yet to be conducted.

"Queenstown police would like to speak to anyone who may have seen her metallic light brown Honda Civic vehicle travelling towards Arrowtown, between 0615 and 0700, on Malaghans Rd," Mr Wood said.

Family have been notified and the Argentinian embassy has been assisting with inquiries with her family, he said.

Fellow Argentinian Mariana Gomez Sosa said she was very upset to hear of the accident and remembered Ms Patron Costas as funny and a nice person to be around.

"I just can't believe it. She was from the same city as me and studied at the same university as me . . . but I only met her when she came to New Zealand," she said.

After meeting in Tauranga, where they shared a room for a week last Christmas, Ms Patron Costas contacted her to say she was coming to Queenstown and asked for help finding work.

"She was planning to stay just six months but she came to Queenstown and decided to stay longer.

"She was like all of us trying to spend a good time here and save some money."

Millbrook Resort head of operations Brian Howie said Carolina had been working in the food and beverage department since August.

She would be remembered as a lovely girl by her colleagues.

"We're all deeply saddened. Our sympathy and condolences go to her family in Argentina," he said.

The matter will be referred to the coroner.

The Southland Times