The first long-weekend fatality on the country's roads was
probably caused by tourists in a campervan crossing the
centre line, police say.
One person died when the 4WD they were a passenger in was
smashed into by a campervan on State Highway 25 near
Whenuakito on the Coromandel Peninsula last evening.
The 4WD's driver suffered serious injuries and was flown by
helicopter to Auckland's Middlemore Hospital, while two
overseas tourists in the campervan were treated at Thames
Hospital for minor injuries.
They had since been released and the Waikato police serious
crash unit was now investigating, but police say initial
indications are the south-bound campervan crossed the centre
line into the other vehicle's path.
Today police are saying the death highlights the importance
of driving to the conditions - at the time of the crash the
road was wet and light drizzle was falling.
"The crash happened about 6.30pm and both vehicles were in
the north-bound land when it happened," district road
policing manager Freda Grace said.
SH25 was closed for more than six hours and despite publicity
warning of delays, huge numbers of motorists queued for hours
waiting for the road to re-open.
"Emergency services are always conscious of the impact
clearing the scene and establishing what has occurred has on
other travellers and we advised via the media diversions were
in place via the Tapu-Coroglen Rd.
"Given the nature of the terrain however, radio reception may
not be too good while travelling in the Coromandel and we
would advise motorists to check for any delays before heading
out through traffic advisory services or newswire
applications on their computer and phone devices," Mrs Grace
She said the crash was a reminder for drivers to take care on
the roads and think about their fitness to drive.
"What we're talking about is ensuring you are fit and
attentive behind the wheel, if you've had a hard day before
heading out consider taking a rest first - it could easily
save your life.
"Likewise, is your vehicle, caravan and boat trailer fit to
be on the roads, is it registered, have a warrant of fitness
and sufficient tyre tread to enable you to react in case you
or the other guy makes a mistake?"