Online tributes were flowing yesterday for a Hamilton woman who died in Waikato Hospital following a head-on crash near Huntly on Tuesday.
Kayla Aitken, 19, suffered critical injuries after the northbound Mazda Familia she was the front-seat passenger in, crossed the centreline into the path of a southbound Holden Colorado utility.
The cars two other occupants, understood to be Rebecca Holten and Hannah Jeffs, were shaken but unhurt following the crash which happened about 5pm on SH1 south of Huntly.
Facebook tributes for Kayla yesterday spoke of a "beautiful and vibrant girl" who would be "sorely missed". Her sister Monique wrote "kayla i love you so much! you mean the world to me and now you cant leave me your so precious but . . . eah [sic] well rest in paradise rest easy love you x0x0x.".
Sergeant Juliet Burgess of the Huntly Strategic Traffic Unit said "it appears as if the Familia has suddenly braked, locked up and spun out of control across the centreline before colliding in a T-bone collision with the Colorado."
Waikato District road policing manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, said police were now trying to establish why the Mazda crossed the centreline into the path of the utility.
"It may be some time before this cause is established," he said.
Mr Tooman confirmed that the driver of a southbound utility involved in the collision was legally driving his vehicle, despite earlier exploring possible charges against the driver in relation to driving while disqualified.
"This isn't the case, however, as the driver was subject to a limited licence," he said. "So it is the police's position that this motorist's involvement in the crash was solely as a victim and we hope he has a speedy recovery from what to anyone would have been a traumatic experience."
Mr Tooman urged drivers to show some restraint on Waikato roads following the latest fatality which brings the Waikato road toll to 26 compared to 34 for the same period last year.
"With more fine weather expected our concern is people may lose their conservative winter driving approach and allow speeds to creep up," he said.
"What we're asking people to do is to maintain their focus and treat the road and other road users with respect, after all safer journey's are everyone's responsibility."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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