'Drag race' crash claims young man's life

JOHN ANTHONY AND MATT RILKOFF
Last updated 09:28 19/11/2012
tdn drag stand
ANDY JACKSON
Police at the scene of Taranaki's 13th fatal road crash, just outside Hawera.

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A young man engaged to be married who died in a two car crash may have been drag racing.

New Plymouth builder Seth David Woolston, 26, died in a two-car crash near the intersection of Fairfield and Beach roads outside Hawera just after 7pm on Friday night. It is understood he was engaged and soon to be married.

Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash and police are investigating the possibility the cars were involved in a drag race, Sergeant Lincoln McCrea said.

It is Taranaki's 13th road death this year.

The two cars involved in the crash had been travelling in the same direction, heading south on Fairfield Rd, away from Hawera and towards the beach, he said.

Ambulance staff said Woolston's car rolled several times causing significant damage.

Police were still seeking witnesses, but skid marks and other evidence indicated the crash happened during a drag race.

"The cars were just a mess, the whole scene was just an absolute mess," McCrea said. "It's a pretty simple message. Don't drink and drive.

"It's bloody frustrating that it's being ignored and people are dying pointlessly."

Woolston died at the scene and had to be cut from the wreck while the other driver removed himself from his car. He was taken to hospital with head injuries. The drivers were the only occupants.

McCrea said emergency services were at the scene for up to five hours and the serious crash unit continued their investigations on Saturday.

It was not known whether the drivers were wearing seatbelts.

Woolston's death brings Taranaki's 2012 road toll to 13. In 2011 nine people were killed in car crashes and in 2010 15 died on the region's roads. His funeral will be held at Park City Church on Wednesday.

Police want anyone who saw a dark blue Subaru and a light blue Holden Calais leaving any address on Fairfield Rd just after 7pm to contact Hawera police or phone 0800 Crimestoppers.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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