Walking last resort after road closed

Travellers head towards and away from Queenstown Airport on Saturday morning on foot after a...
Travellers head towards and away from Queenstown Airport on Saturday morning on foot after a serious crash shut Frankton Rd — the main route from Queenstown to the airport — for several hours.PHOTO: PHILIP CHANDLER
People ditched their cars on the side of Frankton Rd on Saturday morning, opting instead to walk to Queenstown Airport after a serious crash forced police to close the road for more than four hours.

The crash, involving three vehicles, happened about 7.25am at the intersection of Middleton Rd and State Highway 6A.

One male, trapped in his vehicle, was later taken by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital in critical condition while another person sustained minor injuries and was treated at Lakes District Hospital.

However, the incident caused massive delays for anyone trying to get from the Queenstown side of the crash to Arrowtown, Queenstown Airport, or beyond.

A stop/go was in place on the single-lane Edith Cavell Bridge to assist with traffic flow, but getting to the bridge took about an hour from Queenstown, and traffic was also backed up along Frankton Rd to the crash site.

Queenstown’s public bus service continued to run, but also experienced massive interruptions to its schedule.

Buses were planning to go along Frankton Rd to the crash site, ask passengers to walk past the scene and then get on to another bus to transfer them.

One passenger, however, said the bus was not moving either, so he opted to walk to the other side where a friend picked him up.

He saw at least 12 people walking towards Queenstown Airport with suitcases.

The international airport had earlier warned of delays for travellers via its social media channels.

Frankton Rd road eventually reopened about noon.

A police media spokeswoman said yesterday a serious crash investigation was continuing and was expected to take "some time".


Highway closed for four hours. Police should be able to get there, photograph the scene, take measurements and get the vehicles towed away in a quarter of that time, and if they can't, then they should practice until they can--if Americans can do it on their busiest highways, why can't NZers and Canadians? (here)



Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter