Fatal crash west of Christchurch

Last updated 11:22 24/06/2014
Fatal crash on Bealey Rd
Stacy Squires/Fairfax NZ

ICY CONDITIONS: Emergency services attend the scene of the fatal smash on Bealey Rd, west of Christchurch, this morning.

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A man is dead after a van smashed into a ditch on an icy rural road west of Christchurch this morning.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the crash on Bealey Rd, near Darfield, about 8.20am.

A van travelling west lost control and rolled into a water race, police said.

Moments later, a car headed in the same direction slid off the road and collided with the van.

The woman driving the vehicle had seen the initial crash and tried to stop and help, police said.

She was taken to Christchurch Hospital with moderate injuries, a St John Ambulance spokesman said.

Sergeant Dan Harker said ice was a factor in both crashes. 

''When I was there you couldn't even walk on the road [it was so slippery]. If you were driving in a car you couldn't see it.''

He urged drivers to be extra careful driving on rural roads during winter.

Hedges and trees sheltered roads from the sun and often ice never melted, Harker said.

''It's a wake-up call and sadly it's had tragic consequences this time,'' he said.

''We can't prevent ice build-ups - people have just got to be incredibly careful.

''If the road looks wet there's guarenteed to be ice on it.''

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