Three of four dead in Waikato crash thought to be French tourists video

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/Stuff.co.nz

Police are investigating yesterday’s crash on State Highway 2 at Netherton, which claimed four lives.

A rural Waikato resident says the two survivors he helped at the scene of a fatal crash on Saturday evening were French tourists who had only been in the country for a day. 

"I couldn't understand much of what they were saying and the only other information we could get from them was that they were from France," the Netherton resident said. 

Four people died in the crash on State Highway 2, Netherton, in the Hauraki District, about 7.40pm on Saturday.

State Highway 2 near Netherton and Paeroa in the Waikato, where four people died in a two-car crash on Saturday evening.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

State Highway 2 near Netherton and Paeroa in the Waikato, where four people died in a two-car crash on Saturday evening.

Waikato Road Policing Manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said on Sunday afternoon that three people of the five people travelling in a white Toyota Corolla and the driver and sole occupant of a black BMW died at the scene. 

READ MORE: Four dead, two injured in Waikato crash

Lynam said two people from the Toyota were taken to Waikato Hospital, where they underwent surgery. Both are now in a serious but stable condition.

Debris left on the road after the quadruple fatal crash near Paeroa on Saturday evening.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Debris left on the road after the quadruple fatal crash near Paeroa on Saturday evening.

Police closed SH2 between Fisher Road and School Road overnight and said the Serious Crash Unit is investigating.

Fog in the area was heavy at the time, Lynam said. 

Another Netherton resident said he heard a loud crash, followed by an explosion and then silence. 

Nearby residents who responded to a fatal accident on Saturday night were left shocked by the impact.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Nearby residents who responded to a fatal accident on Saturday night were left shocked by the impact.

The truck driver, who also asked for anonymity, looked out his lounge room window to see a vehicle on fire just south of the SH2 intersection with Fisher Road.

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"I chucked my high-vis vest on and ran out to help," he said.

"The car that was on fire ... there was no helping [any] people in there. It was too late to get the fire extinguishers, the flames covered the whole of the car.

CHRISTEL YARDLEY/Stuff.co.nz

A crash on State Highway 2 killed four people on Saturday about 7.40pm.

"It wasn't until the fire was put out that you could see there was a body.

"I got a torch and started searching the drain for bodies because it was dark and I wasn't sure if there were people flung from the car.

"That's when I saw there was a white vehicle in the drain.

Road cones and debris mark the spot of the fiery crash.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Road cones and debris mark the spot of the fiery crash.

"One guy was able to walk himself to the ambulance and I helped the fire guys get the other [survivor] on the stretcher."

The resident and two of his neighbours were on the scene trying to help where they could, assisting emergency services.

He said police were at the scene until 5am on Sunday. 

The charred remains of tyres from one of the cars involved.
CHRISTEL YARDLEY/FAIRFAX NZ

The charred remains of tyres from one of the cars involved.

The smell of rubber was still strong on Sunday morning and oil and sand were spread out across both lanes.

Car parts littered the drain and the remains of charred tyres lay on the side of the road.

The truck driver said driving conditions were not ideal on Saturday night.

"It was really foggy from about 4pm yesterday. I saw the fog coming, but thought it was rain." 

He has lived in the area for 10 years and said while SH2 is prone to accidents, the area outside his house was not. 

"The whole road is pretty gnarly, but it's a safe road when you drive to the conditions." 

Lynam urged any witnesses police had yet to contact to call 07 858 6200. 

 - Stuff

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