A newborn baby was taken to hospital after a head-on crash in
the North Island.
The baby and its parents were travelling south on Kawhia Rd
at Tihiroa, west of Te Awamutu, Waikato, when the cars
collided on a sharp bend about 4.15pm yesterday.
Firefighters had to winch the couple's car off a road barrier
and wedge the passenger door open to free her.
The New Zealand Herald was initially told by emergency
service workers who attended the crash that the mother was
still pregnant and appeared to be having contractions, but it
now appears she had recently given birth.
It is understood the family were taken to Waikato Hospital,
as was a passenger in the other car.
Otorohanga Fire Brigade chief fire officer Neville King said
it appeared speed and wet weather might have contributed to
Neighbours said the two 55km/h corners in quick succession,
just south of Tihiroa Hall, were often the scene of
Late last night, a search was under way at Marks Bay, east of
Bluff and south of the Catlins Forest Park, to find a
motorcyclist who had driven over a bank on private land.
Police, fire crews and a rescue helicopter were involved.
Also last night, a 16-year-old Owaka youth was killed in
Chaslands, South Otago, when his motorcycle went over a cliff
and he fell about 150 metres.
Yesterday, a crash 5km north of Taumarunui on State Highway 4
took the holiday road toll to three. A 58-year-old man from
Taumarunui was killed in the single-vehicle accident shortly
Earlier, a man died following a car crash east of the
Lorneville-Dacre Highway, north of Invercargill.
Senior Sergeant Dave Raynes said the 24-year-old was found
dead at the scene about 6.30am. He was the only occupant of a
A 71-year-old woman became the first holiday-period fatality
after a crash in Hamilton on Christmas Day.
She was a rear-seat passenger in a car that was in collision
with a ute at the intersection of Te Rapa Rd and Avalon Drive
Four of her family members were taken to Waikato Hospital.
Police later located a suspended driver who allegedly had
fled the crash site - a member of the public followed the
fleeing car and helped officers track its 26-year-old female
driver to a Pukete address.
Waikato road policing manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said it
was too early to determine fault or say whether charges would
be laid over the collision.
Earlier, on Christmas Day morning, a 16-year-old was
critically injured when the car she was in rolled down a bank
on a rural road south of Carterton. A 17-year-old suffered
moderate injuries in the crash.
Yesterday, heavy lifting cranes were brought in after a car
and a milk tanker collided near Marton.
The accident happened about 3am, blocking State Highway 3.
The collision sent the tanker into a ditch. The car's driver
suffered serious leg injuries and had to be cut out by fire
Motorists in the lower North Island were urged to be patient
following reports of heavy traffic on State Highway 1
Police shift commander Sergeant Andy Dow said the congestion
appeared to be linked to Boxing Day events and nice weather.
He urged motorists to drive to the conditions.
The official holiday road toll began at 4pm on Christmas Eve
and finishes at 6am on January 3.
Last year, 19 people died and 381 were injured in crashes
during the period.