Crash-and-run suspect arrested during hospital visit

LYN HUMPHREYS
Last updated 05:00 21/04/2014

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A suspected speeding drink-driver who crashed his car into an oncoming car in New Plymouth's main street ran off before he could be arrested, police say.

But police caught up with him when the 28-year-old turned up at Taranaki Base Hospital 5 hours later to check on his mate who was a passenger in his car, Sergeant Royston Betteridge said.

Soon after, the mate was discharged from hospital with minor bruising.

The driver was charged with failing to ascertain injury and careless driving in the crash about 9.30am yesterday on Devon St West near Morley and Mt Edgecumbe streets.

Police suspect speed and alcohol were factors in the crash which severely damaged both cars - ripping off the right front wheel of the other car - when the arrested driver crossed the centre line, Be teridge said.

Meanwhile two cars came to grief at the base of Mt Messenger in separate crashes on Friday night and yesterday.

All occupants walked away relatively unscathed.

Just before midnight on Friday a car eft the road at the base of Mt Messenger.

A patient was treated by a Urenui first responder and did not need to go to hospital, St John Ambulance operations manager Ian May said. Highway Patrol Senior Constable Mark Brown said yesterday afternoon two occupants of a car ended up in a wet paddock on the northern side of Mt Messenger.

The car was heading north when the driver lost control. Neither was injured.

"The wet paddocks saved them," he said.

He suspected both drivers who crashed driving to the conditions. However, both May and Brown reported most motorists within the Taranaki region were behaving well.

"Despite the conditions it hasn't been too bad," Brown said.

Some had been caught speeding and there had been incidents of poor overtaking, Brown said.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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