One dead after car hits bridge

LIB WILSON
Last updated 05:00 31/03/2014

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A 35-year-old Te Kuiti woman was killed when the car she was driving crashed into a barrier north of Turangi yesterday afternoon.

The crash happened on State Highway 41 in Kuratau, about 300 metres from the intersection with State Highway 32.

The car lost control on a moderate bend and clipped the Armco barrier on the opposite side to the road. It slid another 140 metres before colliding with a tree, killing the driver instantly. No other vehicles were involved.

Ambulance officers arrived at the scene soon after 12.30pm, St John northern communications team leader James Ihimaera said.

They found the driver dead and a six-year-old passenger with minor injuries, who was taken to Taupo Hospital.

Sergeant Steve Denny of the Taupo Area Road Police Group said "excessive speed" appeared to be a factor in the accident.

"Police would like to remind the public at this time that speed continues to be a contributing factor in many of New Zealand's serious crashes and to drive safely and courteously on our roads.

Accidents from the Coromandel Peninsula to Waikaretu and Tirau kept rescue helicopters busy over the weekend.

Two were called out early Saturday to attend a single vehicle accident south of Te Kuiti.

A man and woman who had been trapped in their vehicle in Mapiu "for an unspecified time" were taken to Waikato Hospital.

Straight after that the Waikato-King Country Westpac Rescue Helicopter headed to a remote part of the west coast near Waikaretu to retrieve a 48-year-old man suffering chest pains.

Yesterday the helicopter attended two motorbike accidents.

First it helped a 9-year-old girl who sustained a "penetrating injury" to her right foot when she crashed her motocross bike. She and her mother were taken from Tapapa, east of Tirau, to Waikato Hospital.

Later, the helicopter was dispatched to the top of the Kopu-Hikuai pass for a 49-year-old man who crashed his motorbike down an embankment.

The Whangaparaoa man was transported to Waikato Hospital with spinal injuries. An elderly woman suffered serious injuries after she was trapped in her car when it hit a house in Thames last night.

The car crashed into a house in Ensor Street while reversing, fire northern communications shift manager Jaron Phillips said.

The 80-year-old woman was initially trapped in the car but was freed and taken to Thames Hospital, he said.

libby.wilson@fairfaxmedia.co.nz

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- Waikato Times

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