Crash kills woman, injures children
A woman is dead after a Subaru car she was driving crashed through a fence and landed on a trampoline in Taupiri last night.
Travelling in the car was a man, his two young children and another woman.
The driver died at the scene and the second woman remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital.
The children suffered minor to moderate injuries while their father escaped unharmed.
It is understood one of the two women in the car is the children's mother.
Resident Kristina Manning was watching television when she heard a "big noise" about 6.15pm on Old Taupiri Rd.
"I walked around the corner and saw the car upside down in the neighbour's yard. It wasn't good."
She went outside to find the man covered in blood cradling the surviving woman on his lap. She was not responding.
"He was down on the ground trying to pull the female out onto his lap. Both had blood everywhere."
That woman was taken to Waikato Hospital in a critical condition. The driver died at the scene.
The man's two young school-aged children also got out of the car after receiving what police described as minor-to-moderate injuries.
Ms Manning consoled the children before they were taken away by ambulance to hospital.
"They had their seatbelts on and there was a tiny wee dog called Cookie that was thrown from the car. It was very shaken, but still alive.
"The kids were really shaken up and worried about their mother. One had done something to his head and was screaming in pain.
"I told them to be brave and you're doing well and put a sleeping bag around them and tried to keep them calm."
Sergeant Andrew Brosnan, of Waikato highway patrol, said the Serious Crash Unit was investigating whether speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.
As emergency services worked to clear the wreckage, Waikato District road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman said far too many rural people were dying on rural roads.
"The crash is currently being investigated by the Waikato Serious Crash Unit and initial indications are a northbound Subaru Impreza has failed to negotiate a bend and smashed through a fence."
It was the second serious crash to occur in the Waikato in 24 hours following one on Ohaupo Rd Wednesday night and Mr Tooman said drivers needed to respect the road no matter if they are on a major highway, city street or rural road.
"Last year 24 people died in 19 crashes in rural locations out of a total 51 deaths in 44 crashes, too many people are dying on our rural roading network.
"After [last night's] crash there is now one woman who won't be at the table enjoying Christmas with her family next month.
"It's happening too often and we need a whole of community solution."
Mr Tooman said the Waikato had the country's highest road toll this year, at 38.
He said the public needed to work with police to prevent further road trauma.
"It's not just the job of police to address the issue, blue and red flashing lights can't be seen everywhere and its up to friends and families to ensure their loved ones are fit to drive - that they are fit to survive, that is the only way we can ensure safer journeys for all road users."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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