Two people have died on SH1 south of Tokoroa in the Bay of Plenty in a two-car crash just after 1pm today.
Another three persons have serious injuries, and emergency services - fire and ambulance; have worked to free the injured from their vehicles. The three survivors have been taken to hospital in serious condition.
Police are examining the scene, near the golf course, and expect the road to be closed for a few hours yet. Diversions are in place but there will be delays and drivers should avoid the area if possible.
National Road Policing Manager Steve Greally says “There have been too many crashes since our holiday period started on Christmas Eve. People’s driving behaviour has not been safe. Some families have already had their Christmas holiday ruined by these tragedies.
We’ve had over 200 crashes throughout New Zealand since our holiday period began. Many of these have been minor incidents like nose-to-tails where police don’t attend, but a few have been serious crashes and obviously these latest ones have been deadly."
I want to stress again many of these crashes could have been avoided had people kept their wits about them and had driven with care and caution. People need to drive to the conditions of the road and be patient. There’s a lot of traffic on the roads over this time, and we all just need to take more care,” he says.
The road toll now stands at three.
Senior Media Advisor Jillian Reid, Public Affairs, PNHQ 021 947 003
Notes to media – First fatal crash of this holiday road season below:
A fatal crash closed SH 1 Oakleigh, Whangarei in Northland: The crash happened at about 6:45 pm on Christmas day 2015 and involved three vehicles. One person died and three others were injured. The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.