Biker killed, driver of car moderately injured in collision

The backlog of traffic at Tarras yesterday morning after a crash blocked the Lindis Pass. PHOTO:...
The backlog of traffic at Tarras yesterday morning after a crash blocked the Lindis Pass. PHOTO: RUBY SHAW
A motorcyclist has died and another person has moderate injuries following a crash that closed the Lindis Pass on State Highway 8 for much of yesterday.

The collision involving a motorcycle and a car happened about 8.30am, some 15km from the summit towards the Tarras side of the pass. The road reopened by 4.10pm.

In a statement yesterday afternoon, police confirmed that the motorcyclist died at the scene, while the driver and sole occupant of the car had moderate injuries.

A spokeswoman for Hato Hone St John said one patient had been flown to Lakes District Hospital in Queenstown.

Two ambulances and two rescue helicopters attended.

Police are investigating the cause of the crash and a serious crash unit was sent to the scene.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand shift manager Blair Walklin said four appliances attended from Omarama, Otematata and Tarras.

The Lindis Pass is the main inland route between Canterbury and Otago.

The crash closed SH8 between the Tarras and Omarama townships and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) earlier advised road users to use an alternative route that would add an extra two and a-half hours to journeys.

"It is expected crash investigations will take several hours, and that the road will remain closed until at least late afternoon."

At 4.10pm the NZTA said the Lindis Pass had reopened, but people should expect delays through the area as queued traffic cleared.

"We would like to thank motorists in the area for their extended patience today."

An ODT reporter at Tarras said there had been a huge backlog of traffic on SH8 yesterday morning and motorists had been told by a Fulton Hogan worker to use the Pigroot (SH85) as an alternate route.

— Staff reporters