Police took the car keys from a drunk driver only hours
before the same car crashed through three fences and
overturned in Thames early this morning, killing an
The rear-set passenger died and four other occupants suffered
minor injuries when the allegedly unroadworthy car came off
Pariwai Rd about 4.25am today.
Waikato police district commander Superintendent Win van der
Velde said the police serious crash unit was still
"However, initial indications are the 37-year-old female
driver of the Holden Commodore lost control of the vehicle
and left the road, crashing through three fences."
The crash was particularly concerning because it came less
than three hours after police had stopped the same car and
caught its driver at the time, a 31-year-old man, over the
legal breath alcohol limit.
Mr van der Velde said the car was also found to be
unroadworthy when police stopped it about 1.30am.
"It was issued a non-operational order and the keys were
taken by police so it should not have been on the road at
all, let alone being driven at the time of the crash."
Waikato police and emergency services diverted traffic away
from the crash scene this morning and had warned of delays.
The residential road has since reopened.
The crash brings the number of deaths on Waikato roads this
month to two - double the same period last year. It was the
sixth fatal or serious injury crash in the region within a
Last night, four people were injured, one critically, in a
head-on collision on State Highway 24, south of Matamata.
Police said a vehicle lost a rear wheel and crashed into an
One person was critically injured, another person suffered
serious injuries and two others were moderately injured.
"Each of this week's crashes has occurred on rural roads and
police are becoming concerned that drivers are becoming too
complacent," Mr van der Velde said.
"Only this morning I stopped a car doing over 120km/h on a
rural road and yesterday one of my constables stopped two
eastbound vehicles on SH25A in the Coromandel travelling at
speeds of 152 and 148km/h while overtaking."
Mr van der Velde said such speeds at any time, let alone over
the holiday period with extremely high traffic flows, were