Mayhem on roads brings police plea

A car lies upside down after a crash on Dukes Rd in Mosgiel  Saturday afternoon. Photo: Gerard O...
A car lies upside down after a crash on Dukes Rd in Mosgiel Saturday afternoon. Photo: Gerard O'Brien
Saturday was a horror day on Otago roads but there was no obvious reason why, Senior Sergeant Brian Benn, of Dunedin, says.

Throughout the day, 11 people were injured in four serious car crashes.

Snr Sgt Benn said it was a busy day for police.

"We’d certainly rather not have to go.’’

The conditions did not seem to be the cause of the upsurge in  crashes, although several of the more serious accidents involved single cars on 100kmh roads, he said.

They served as a sad reminder for drivers to take extra care on the roads.

"We remind drivers to buckle up, drive to the conditions, don’t drink and drive and don’t use your phone.

"Road safety is everybody’s responsibility.’’

The chaos began when a car crashed into a paddock and flipped near Clarks Junction on State Highway 87, just before 1pm.

A police spokeswoman said the highway between Clarks Junction and Lee Stream  was closed for a time after the crash, near Romarua Farm and Boyd Rd.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said the driver was outside his vehicle lying in the paddock when crews arrived from Middlemarch and Outram.

They provided first aid before two ambulances and a rescue helicopter arrived.

The man  was flown to Dunedin Hospital in a critical condition.

About two hours later, six people - three of them children - were injured when  a van and a car collided on State Highway 1 between Allanton and Waihola, south of Dunedin.

A police spokeswoman said one person with serious injuries was flown to Dunedin Hospital by rescue helicopter after being freed from a  vehicle in the collision near Henley.

St John spokeswoman Jess Miller said a further three people were in a moderate condition and another two had minor injuries.

The crash occurred on a long straight with a passing lane, about 3.15pm.

Less than an hour later, two people were injured after their car flipped on to its roof in the day’s third injury crash. A police spokeswoman said the crash happened about 4pm on Saturday on Dukes Rd North in Mosgiel, near the intersection with Gordon Rd.

Ms Miller said two people in their 60s were taken  by ambulance to Dunedin Hospital with moderate injuries. In the day’s fourth serious crash on Saturday, a  person was critically injured when  a car rolled on State Highway 1 near  Waihola about 8pm. 

A police spokeswoman said the crash  closed the highway near the intersection with Titri Rd and diversions were put in place. Another person in the vehicle received serious injuries and both victims were transported to Dunedin Hospital via rescue helicopter, she said.

The Serious Crash Unit was investigating.

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