Spate of road accidents in rain

FLORENCE KERR
Last updated 05:00 04/03/2014

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The first Monday of March was a day of mayhem on Waikato roads with nine vehicle crashes, including one which seriously injured a driver instructor.

The light rain early yesterday had a hand in cars crashing all over the district between 6am and 7am with three minor accidents in Eureka, Waharoa and Lichfield.

No-one was seriously injured.

However, a crash on State Highway 3 between Te Awamutu and Hamilton at 10.35am left a driving instructor with serious injuries.

Witnesses told the Waikato Times it appeared that the crash occurred after a car overtook another car being driven by a teenage learner driver.

This then caused the learner driver to lose control and spin out in front of a two-axle glass company truck heading south.

The driving instructor was trapped in the car and had to be freed by firefighters.

He was taken to Waikato Hospital with serious injuries.

Te Awamutu senior fire officer Lex Soepnel, who attended the scene, said that the drivers of both the car and truck were not hurt, although the truck driver also had to be cut from his vehicle due to the damage.

Police are still seeking the a male driver who stopped at the scene but left before police arrived.

District Road Policing Manager Inspector Freda Grace said an hour previously a man was seen driving at high speed over Huntly's Tainui Bridge. The driver lost control when the vehicle "went airborne" and collided with a pole near the intersection with Harris St.

"The man was trapped in his vehicle for a short period but when freed was found to be unhurt.

"Though unhurt the man does have some explaining to do, given his vehicle had registration plates belonging to another car, had been ordered off the road by way of green sticker and he was a disqualified driver."

Mrs Grace said drivers needed to adjust their driving habits in wet weather.

"As we approach autumn, police are asking road users to adopt a more cautious approach on Waikato roads. Remember road safety is no accident and too many families have been affected by road trauma already this year."

Monday's crashes come after a heavy weekend of motorcycle spills on Waikato roads.

On Saturday a 45-year-old man was killed on Morrinsville-Walton Road, after colliding with a tractor-trailer unit when it turned into a driveway.

Police have still not released the man of the man killed in that crash.

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- Waikato Times

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