Seven people, including five motorcyclists, have died in a
horror weekend on North Island roads, and more than a dozen
people have been injured.
In the latest incident, a motorcyclist was killed after a
crash on the Waikato Expressway near Rangiriri, north of
Huntly, about 7.30pm last night.
Another person was taken to hospital in a moderate condition.
On Saturday two motorcyclists, on a charity ride with about
100 others, were killed in a collision with a van.
Gordon Thomas McKay, 68, of New Plymouth and Kelly Richard
Reardon, 40, of Waitara, died in the crash at Normanby in
South Taranaki shortly after midday.
Five others were taken to hospital after the crash during the
Round the Mountain charity toy run.
A fellow charity rider Lyall Broadmore, who was ahead of the
bikers involved in the incident, said he passed a van full of
people up to "stupid antics" shortly before the crash.
One of the passengers, a man, was sitting with his upper body
leaning out of the window of the van as he waved to the
"They were encouraging the bikes, waving to the bikes ... I
thought it was an accident waiting to happen."
Mr Broadmore said he could not be certain if the same van was
involved in the crash moments afterwards, but it was not far
from the scene of the accident.
He said the group of motorcyclists decided to continue with
the charity run after the crash because they were "there for
the kids who go without".
A 24-year-old Wanganui man, thought to have been driving the
van, remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital,
where he was flown from Taranaki Base Hospital.
Three other men injured in the crash remain in Taranaki Base
A hospital spokeswoman said two, aged 22 and 27, were in a
comfortable condition, and a 62-year-old was described as
Meanwhile, a 42-year-old man, who was also injured in the
collision, had been transferred to Middlemore Hospital in
Auckland in a serious but stable condition.
The weekend fatalities have brought the road toll for the
year to 274 - up from 255 at the same time last year.
National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths
said the key safety message for motorcyclists was, if they
were travelling in groups, to keep distances between each
"So if something untoward happens it doesn't take a whole lot
of bikes down at the same time."
He said the same messages still needed to be emphasised to
all motorists; keep to the speed limits, pay attention, wear
seatbelts and don't drink and drive.
On Saturday, two other motorcyclists and two people in cars
were killed in separate accidents and 10 others were injured
Among those injured were three males, aged between 16 and 22
in a crash on State Highway 2 north of Wairoa.
- By Rebecca Quilliam of APNZ