A Nissan Primera in which two people died a car crash at
Waihao Downs yesterday morning is hoisted from where it
came to rest in matagouri bushes. Photo by David Bruce.
Alcohol, speed and not wearing safety belts are believed
to have contributed to the deaths of two people in a car crash
on State Highway 82 at Waihao Downs, 17km south of Waimate,
late on Saturday night or early yesterday.
A third person, who was injured in the crash, managed to
climb a steep, 20m-high bank through long grass from where
the car came to rest in a gully, to be found by a passing
motorist who called police about 8am yesterday.
That person, not identified as male or female, was taken to
Timaru Hospital by ambulance.
It is believed the two who died in the crash were a
21-year-old man and and 18-year-old woman.
The three people were travelling south in a 1992 Nissan
Primera over an undulating and twisty section of SH82 south
of Waihao Downs before coming down to the Waitaki Plains.
The car failed to negotiate a left-hand bend, crossing into
the opposite lane, then off the road and down a steep bank.
The car continued forward until striking a tree and then a
fencepost, bouncing into the bottom of the gully beside a
creek about 20m below the road surface.
It is believed the crash occurred late on Saturday night, but
Acting Sergeant Bryan Ennis, of Timaru, did not know exactly
when and the time the injured person managed to climb up the
A crane was called from Timaru to lift the car from the gully
on to the road, where it was inspected by the Serious Crash
Unit, then on to the truck deck.
Police said it appeared both deceased were not wearing safety
belts and speed and alcohol were contributing factors.
Late yesterday, neither of the two persons had been formally
Two units from the Waimate Fire Brigade, police from Waimate
and Timaru and a St John ambulance were called.
The road was reduced to a single lane for about five hours.
Elsewhere in New Zealand, a motorist died and several others
were injured after a crash near Rotorua on Saturday morning.
The accident happened after a truck and a car collided near
the Hell's Gate tourist attraction on State Highway 30 at
In another fatal incident in Rotorua, a pedestrian was killed
after being hit by a car about 4.30am yesterday, on SH30,
just south of the Rotorua airport. A bus rolled on SH57 near
Shannon just before 6pm yesterday, trapping about 40
About eight people with moderate injuries were taken to
Palmerston North Hospital, St John communications manager
Mark Tregoweth said.
Police said no other vehicles were involved, and the cause of
the crash was unknown.
Additional reporting from The New Zealand