Driver loses hand in head-on collision

Last updated 10:10 21/03/2014

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A Morrinsville man was seriously injured in a collision between a truck and a car near Morrinsville yesterday.

The head-on crash on Kereone Rd happened about 9.40am.

The driver of the red hatchback had to be cut out of the vehicle and was flown to Waikato Hospital by the Westpac Air Ambulance. He had serious injuries to his arm and chest.

Westpac pilot Loren Haisley said the 52-year-old man suffered a "traumatic amputation" of his right hand in the crash.

Sergeant Dean Kaio, of the Matamata-Piako Road Policing Unit, said the cause of the accident on the straight stretch of road, which leads to Matamata, were unclear. The driver of the truck was shaken but otherwise unhurt.

Meanwhile, a crash on Hamilton's Cobham Dr yesterday afternoon caused traffic chaos.

Fire Service communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said one person was seriously injured in the crash when a car hit a pole. The person was taken to Waikato Hospital for treatment.

The crash, about 1.30pm, caused traffic to back-up along Cobham Dr and Normandy Ave, with city-bound traffic diverted down Grey St.

A problem intersection due for a major upgrade was the scene of another crash on Wednesday afternoon.

American tourists driving a rental car on Waitomo Caves Rd (State Highway 37) failed to give way turning south into State Highway 3 and were in collision with another vehicle travelling north.

Senior Constable Graeme Hammond said the car travelling north tried to avoid the other vehicle but hit the driver's door.

The tourist couple suffered minor injuries while the two people from Te Awamutu travelling in the other vehicle were unhurt.

Mr Hammond said motorists needed to learn to look both ways at the intersection and the planned upgrade "couldn't come soon enough".

Honeymooning American tourist Kallan Kenneth Stithem died and his wife Kirsten Steinke was seriously injured in 2012 at the same Waitomo intersection. Canadian tourist Michele Smith died in a similar crash seven months earlier at the same spot.

The intersection is moving 100 metres north with a $3.1 million roundabout.

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- Waikato

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