Friday, 27 December 2013 - 4:53pm |
National News

Slow down- message from Waikato Police after Coromandel crash

2 min read

 Waikato Police investigating a single vehicle crash that shut down traffic around the Coromandel Peninsula this afternoon say they have a simple message for holiday motorists- slow down.

Officer in charge of the Police's Summer Policing operation in Whangamata, Senior Sergeant Freda Grace, said traffic throughout the eastern Coromandel slowed to a crawl following the single vehicle crash that happened shortly before 1pm on SH25 between Tairua and Whitianga.

"The crash involved a single people-mover type vehicle travelling towards Whitianga and is still under investigation by the Serious Crash Unit however initial indications are speed was a contributing factor.

"The driver of the vehicle appears to have failed to negotiate a sign-posted 25km/h corner, crossed the centreline and gone down a 20m bank. Members of the public had to travel from the scene to raise the alarm due to poor cell-phone coverage."

Ms Grace said the six occupants of the vehicle suffered a variety of injuries with two people, a woman and a two year-old child being flown by air ambulance to hospital with serious injuries.

"The other four occupants were taken to hospital by ambulances that arrived from Whitianga and Hahei.

"The crash closed the road for a considerable period and resulted in traffic being diverted on to the gravel Tapu-Coroglen Rd causing significant congestion. A salvage vehicle is on its way from Hamilton to recover the van from down the bank and the road is likely to be closed down to at least one lane during this recovery so if you can avoid the area we suggest you do"

Ms Grace said despite the fine weather there had been seven crashes across the Waikato Police District with three happening in the Coromandel placing pressure on responding emergency services.

"While Police are working full time our sister ambulance and fire crews rely heavily on volunteers who are also trying to enjoy their summer holidays.

"With thousands more vehicles on the narrow Coromandel roads over the next few days its crucial drivers pay attention and slow down. By showing a bit of patience we will ensure everyone gets to and from their destination safely."

Police are continuing to maintain their zero tolerance approach to any motorists found driving in excess of any posted speed limit over the summer.