Van rolls into ditch, 7 occupants taken to hospital

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 07:44 15/10/2012
tdn awakino stand
Seven people were taken to hospital after a crash on SH3 near Awakino yesterday.

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Seven people were taken to hospital after the van they were travelling in rolled on State Highway 3 in the Awakino Gorge yesterday evening.

Emergency services, including two rescue helicopters, attended after being called out about 5.30pm.

Taranaki rescue helicopter pilot Fergus MacLachlan said a woman with serious injuries had been flown to Taranaki Base Hospital while five others were taken to hospital by St John's ambulances with minor injuries.

Another woman was flown to Waikato Hospital by the Westpac rescue helicopter.

St John's operations manager Ian May said the two women flown to hospital were aged 21 and 24 and both had neck, back and leg injuries.

At least one person was thrown from the people-mover.

Sergeant Bruce Irvine said no other vehicle was involved in the crash and it appeared the van had rolled and ended up in a ditch on the roadside.

He said State Highway 3 was closed for a short time so the helicopters could land.

It is understood the vanload of people were a family group on their way to Tauranga and were not from Taranaki.

Earlier in the day the Taranaki rescue helicopter also transported a man from an inland oil-rig north of Inglewood where he had become ill.

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