Road toll rises to 7

The Christmas-New Year holiday period road toll stands at seven following the death of a motorcyclist today.

Police confirmed the rider passed away after being seriously hurt in a crash at 12.55pm on the Taihape-Napier Rd this afternoon.

The motorcyclist's death comes as several others battle for survival following a horrific crash earlier today.

Three family members, including a six-month-old baby boy, a 12-year-old girl and a man in his 30s, are in critical condition in Hawke's Bay Hospital's Intensive Care Unit, after their van plunged down a bank this morning.

The van, which had eight occupants and was travelling south on Napier-Taupo Rd, is believed to have crashed after the driver fell asleep.

The other five family members are also being treated in Hawke's Bay Hospital.

A woman and man, both in their 30s, and a girl, 9, had been moved from general wards into the High Dependency Unit, and were all in serious condition.

Two men, one in his 20s and one in his 40s, were in stable condition in a ward.

The holiday road toll period, which finishes tomorrow [3/01] at 6am, began 4pm on Christmas Eve.

Last year six people died during the period on New Zealand roads.


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