One dead after car hits tree

JONATHAN CARSON AND NICOLA BRENNAN-TUPARA
Last updated 08:10 21/11/2012
Te Pahu Rd crash
MARK TAYLOR/Fairfax NZ

An elderly man died last night when the car he was driving hit a tree.

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A man was killed and his car split in half when it crashed into a tree at high speed last night.

The crash happened on Te Pahu Rd, Karamu at about 5pm, and is the second fatal accident on Waikato roads in less than a week.

Police said it appeared the man, aged in his 70s, lost control of his car on a right-hand bend, veered across the road and smashed into a tree in the front yard of a house.

The car hit the tree with such force that it split in two.  The front half of the car, including the driver's seat, was found about five metres from the back, and doors and other debris were littered around the scene.

The tree was uprooted and part of a fence was also damaged.

The deceased was the only person in the car.

Teenager Torie Adams was at home when the crash happened.

She was listening to music, so didn't hear the ''loud bang'' others heard.  When she went to investigate, she found the mangled car in pieces.

''It was like it was in quarters pretty much,'' she said of the damage.

''I couldn't see the body. I just want to know who it is.''

Her mother Denise Adams said crashes were common along the road and they always prayed it wasn't a friend of theirs.

She said the long, narrow, and at times windy, road was notorious for speeding cars and she'd seen crashes nearly every 500 metres along it.

The road was recently widened, but the crashes continued.

''It's just a typical rural New Zealand road - not well constructed.'' The crash follows a fatal crash in Taupiri last

Thursday which killed a woman and injured four others, including two young children.

Last night's crash brings Waikato's road toll to 40 this year - the highest in the country.

Last week Waikato district road policing manager, Inspector Leo Tooman, urged people to take extra care of the region's rural roads.  Twenty four people in 19 crashes died in rural locations in 2011 around the Waikato.

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- Waikato

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