Taumarunui death brings toll to three
A man died in a car crash north of Taumarunui yesterday, bringing the holiday road toll to three.
The crash occurred about 1pm on State Highway 4, 5kms north of Taumarunui, police said.
No other vehicles were involved and the man, a 58-year-old local, was dead when police arrived.
The car had left the road and travelled over a small bank before coming to a rest.
There were no other people in the vehicle.
The man was not far from his home when the crash occurred, police said.
It is the third road death of the holiday period, after a 24-year-old man was also killed yesterday morning when his car left the road and veered into a paddock near Invercargill.
Meanwhile, a two-car crash north of Otorohanga yesterday resulted in five people being taken to hospital.
The driver of a Subaru vehicle lost control, spun out and hit a bank on a hill on Kawhia Rd, near the Tihiroa Hall, about 4pm.
An Audi vehicle coming down the hill collided with the car that had come to rest on the side of the road.
Emergency services initially believed a woman, who was a passenger in the Subaru vehicle, was in labour.
However, St John Te Awamutu team manager Pauline Austin said: ‘‘They weren’t in labour. I can’t pass on any more information other than that.’’
She said five people, including two women who were both in a serious condition, were taken to Waikato Hospital.
Otorohanga chief fire officer Neville King said a lady in the Audi car was trapped and the vehicle had to be winched from a barrier to get her out.
Both cars were badly damaged and had to be towed away.
Mr King said a firefighter had to drive one of the ambulances as both ambulance staff were required to care for one of the women.
The road was closed for about an hour and traffic was backed up about 500 metres in both directions.
There had been intermittent rain in the area at the time of the crash.