Ashburton death brings road toll to 5

Photo: ODT files
Photo: ODT files
A motorist has died after a crash in Ashburton early on Christmas morning, bringing the holiday road toll to five.

Police said the person died after crashing in Methven Highway (State Highway 77) in the suburb of Allenton.

Emergency services were notified about 12.45am and the sole occupant died at the scene, police said.

No other vehicles were involved.

The road was temporarily closed while a scene examination took place, but has reopened.

Emergency services were also called to a serious crash on State Highway 1 in Oakleigh, Whangārei. 

The collision involving a truck and two cars happened about 12.20pm. 

One person was airlifted to hospital in a critical condition. The road has reopened and an investigation into the crash is under way.

Five people have died since the start of the official road toll period on December 22 that runs until January 5.

One person died after fleeing a police checkpoint in Whangārei on Friday evening.

Police located their vehicle in Beach Rd about 6.40pm. The driver died at the scene.

Three people died in separate crashes on Saturday.

A person was killed after a crash involving a motorcyclist and car on State Highway 25 between Whangamatā and Hikuai about 1pm.

An hour later, another person was killed after a crash in Whakamaru Rd in Bay of Plenty.

On Saturday evening, a motorist died in a single-vehicle crash about 8pm in Te Ahu Ahu Rd, Northland.

Last year, the Christmas-New Year road toll was 17.