Notorious road claims cyclist

Last updated 08:00 18/03/2013

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A female cyclist has died on a notoriously dangerous stretch of road near Taupo after being hit by a truck.

A local councillor who has campaigned to have Pohipi Rd widened described the accident as "gut wrenching."

Shortly before 10am on Saturday the 50-year-old Auckland woman, part of a group of cyclists, was struck by a passing truck on what is one of the most popular rural cycling roads in the country.

She died after being airlifted to Waikato Hospital.

Police were still working with witnesses in identifying the causes of the crash however Pohipi Rd has long been a cause for concern with cyclists. Last year two cyclists, a husband and wife, were also airlifted to hospital from the road after being hit by a 4WD.

They survived but suffered spinal injuries and internal bleeding. An 18-year-old was convicted of careless driving.

Local councillor Keith Crate, who helps organise Bike Taupo events, called the accident a "tragedy".

Work was just about to begin on widening three areas of the stretch of road. However the place where the accident occurred was not in any of those proposed areas, he said.

"It's sort of realised our worst fears. It's been a road that everyone has been talking about for years."

The small rural road had faced ever increasing volumes of traffic and now had about 3000 cars using it daily, he said.

His thoughts were with the family of the woman.

"We are doing our best to make sure our roads are safe," Mr Crate said.

Meanwhile, a Taupo man killed when the car he was driving and a truck collided in Taupo on Saturday has been named named as Callan Moss, 20. The crash happened at about 1am on State Highway 1. Two passengers in the car suffered minor injuries.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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