Twizel woman killed; horror start on roads

Two people have died in separate crashes on Canterbury roads in the past 24 hours, taking the Easter Weekend road toll to four.

Yesterday around 5.20pm, a 44-year-old female driver from Twizel died following a crash on the Fairlie-Tekapo Road in South Canterbury.

Police today named the woman as Yulane Margaret Cadigan.

Her vehicle was travelling along State Highway 8 from Fairlie towards Tekapo and appeared to have lost control, left the road and hit a tree, police said.

Two passengers were taken to Timaru Hospital with moderate injuries. No other vehicles were involved.

Speed, the vehicle's poor condition and bad weather were contributing factors, police said.

Mrs Cadigan was not believed to have been wearing a seatbelt.

About 3.15am today, an 80-year-old male pedestrian was struck by a vehicle on the Hinds-Rangitata Highway, about 5km south of Hinds.

He died as a result of his injuries.

Early police enquiries suggested he may have been driving south before parking his vehicle and continuing south on foot. His name was not immediately available.

Timaru police are appealing for anyone who may have seen the man to contact them on (03) 687 9808.

They were also appealing for sightings of a white Nissan Pulsar found parked within a few kilometres of the scene.

Another motorist died following a four-vehicle crash in the West Auckland township of Kumeu around 7pm last night.

Several others were seriously injured in the crash, police said. Three people were taken to hospital, one in a critical condition.

The serious crash unit was investigating.

An elderly man who crashed his car into a tree while driving in heavy rain near Pukekohe yesterday has also died.

The 75-year-old was left in a critical condition after smashing into a tree at the intersection of Tuakau and Buckland Roads, about midday yesterday.

Earlier yesterday, two Opotiki men died after the tow truck they were in left a narrow gravel road and rolled down a 30 metre bank.  

The men were named today as Gordon Douglas Nelson, 67 and Frederick Michael Ruff, 70. 

The Easter road toll period began at 4pm yesterday, and finishes at 6am on Monday.


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