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ISSN 1170-1137 – (061)
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Witnesses to crash wanted
POLICE are appealing for information following
the deaths of two people in a head-on crash in Te
Kuiti on Saturday.
Emergency services including police, firefight-
ers, St John and three rescue helicopters, were
called to the crash at 2.10pm, about 250m north of
the 100km/h signs and Te Kumi Rd on SH3.
Senior Sergeant Mike Underwood of the Waikato
District Command Centre said on Saturday two
occupants travelling in a northbound car died at
the scene but details about the exact cause were
still under investigation.
“The two rear seat passengers [in the north-
bound Mazda] sustained serious injuries and were
flown to Waikato Hospital.
“Two occupants travelling in the southbound
car sustained moderate injuries and were also
transported to Waikato Hospital.”
It is understood, that a woman passenger in the
northbound car was later transferred to Auckland
City Hospital in a critical condition. A younger
female passenger was in a critical, but stable con-
dition in Waikato Hospital on Sunday afternoon.
The driver and passenger in the southbound car
are believed to be recovering well.
Mr Underwood said police are appealing for wit-
nesses to come forward to help their investigation.
“There was a vehicle following directly behind
the northbound car and would have witnessed the
crash,” he said.
“Police would like to speak with the occupants
of this vehicle as they will be able to assist us with
the crash investigation.”
The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating
the cause of the crash.
Further information about the details of the
crash and the names of the people who died was
unknown as this issue went print as calls to police
Te Kuiti Chief Fire Officer Phil New says his
crew’s main priority on arrival was extracting the
two rear passengers from the Mazda.
“The driver of the southbound car was already
out and lying on the bank so with help from the
ambulance staff we focused on getting the survivors
out of the other vehicle,” he says.
“Our main job at these sorts of incidents
is patient care and doing our best to keep
the survivors alive.
“It is a very unfortunate situation for
Waitomo mayor Brian Hanna says he
has already contacted the New Zealand
Transport Agency (NZTA) to discuss op-
tions to improve safety near the crash site.
One option he says is to extend the cur-
rent 50km/h zone out to where the 70km/h
zone begins near Gadsby Rd and/or to
move the digital speed reader, currently
further along Te Kumi Rd, nearer to the
entrance to Te Kuiti.
“Saturday’s fatal crash is an absolute
tragedy which you don’t wish on anyone,”
“All we can do from here is try to slow
traffic down but that decision will ulti-
mately be up to the NZTA who are no
doubt carrying out their own investiga-
“So there are a number of options that
I will be suggesting to the NZTA however,
it won’t be until we know the exact cause
of the crash – either road conditions or
driver error – that we can make a more
Te Kuiti man – Brandon Lee Williams
who raised concerns about road safety
along Te Kumi Rd – as reported in Mon-
day’s Waikato Times and Stuff online –
declined to speak to the Waitomo News.
He did howeve, speak to Mr Hanna yes-
terday regarding traffic safety issues near
his Te Kumi Rd home which the mayor
says was a “very amicable discussion”.
To provide any information regarding
the crash contact the Waikato District
Police Command Centre on 07 859 7807.
CHOPPERS CONVERGE: Three rescue choppers from the Waikato, Taupo and Rotorua regions were called to Saturday’s fatal road crash (north of this
photograph) on SH3 just north of Te Kuiti. PHOTO SUPPLIED
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