Names released in Waikato fatals

Names released in Waikato fatals


Waikato Police investigating the deaths of two men in separate crashes over the weekend say too many families are being left picking up the pieces and its time drivers' attitudes changed.

District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Dana McDonald, said the one thing the two incidents had in common was the degree to which both fatalities could have been avoided.

"In the first death, 18-year-old Matthew Richard Perkins BLYDE, died when his car collided with another at the rural intersection of Waharoa and Pohlen Roads outside Matamata about 9.40pm.

"On behalf of NZ Police I would like to extend our sympathies to Mr BLYDE'S family for their loss. At this time, given the crash is still under investigation by the Waikato Serious Crash Unit it would be premature to comment on the cause of what occurred."

Four people travelling in the other car also suffered injuries with two being airlifted to Waikato Hospital.

"Interestingly, about an hour earlier Police received complaints about the nature of a person's driving in a Mitsubishi car on SH27 which runs parallel to Waharoa Rd where this person was trying to pass in dangerous situations.

"Then, as traffic management staff were keeping the crash scene secure, a car collided with one of the workman's vehicles so we have three incidents in a very short period of time where driver behaviour is putting the lives of others at risk."

Mr McDonald said further tragedy struck roads on either side of the District with the first being the death in Waikato Hospital of a motorcyclist who crashed his motorbike on SH25A near Kopu on Saturday.

"Emergency services were called to the scene on the Kopu-Hikuai Rd about 3.35pm after 59-year-old Peterus Johannes CORNELISSEN lost control of his motorbike and collided with bank.

"Airlifted to Waikato Hospital he died a short time later and again, Police would like to extend our sympathies to his family for their loss."

Mr McDonald said the loss of Mr CORNELISSEN was particularly tragic given Police attempts to prevent riders in the area coming to grief.

"One of our officers spoke to another rider at Buffalo Beach near Whitianga shortly before the crash and as he was there they were passed by another group of riders. Two members of the public subsequently stopped and made complaints against the nature of that second group's riding.

"So the following loss of life was a double blow to our staff to hear that this group has gone on to experience such a traumatic incident.

"Our Road Policing staff work long hours alongside other emergency services trying to keep the public safe and I can assure you they take every serious injury and fatality very personally."
If the earlier crashes weren't enough for emergency services to deal with, first responders were called out again on Sunday to deal with a two car collision on SH31 west of Otorohanga.

"In this crash two cars collided at the intersection of SH1 and Waitomo Valley Rd. An Auckland couple in their seventies were airlifted to Waikato Hospital with serious injuries while a 75-year-old US citizen appeared in the Hamilton District Court yesterday on two charges of careless driving causing injury in relation to the crash.

"We've now lost nine people on Waikato roads this year in eight fatal crashes. That basically equates to one family every week having to come to terms with the loss of a loved one, not to mention those people facing potentially life changing injuries. The question needs to be asked, what are we doing about it?"

Mr McDonald said from a Police perspective his staff will be maintaining their hi-visibility presence on Waikato roads endeavouring to keep motorists safe but while they are doing that the public has a role to play.

"That's don't drink and drive, don't sit silently in the passenger seat while someone else does and don't tolerate reckless, dangerous or careless driving- the cost is just too much."