One dead in Waimate after vehicle crashes into power pole

2019-04-23 05:40:20

Three people have lost their lives and another three have been seriously injured following multiple crashes throughout the South Island.

One person died after crashing into a power pole in the Waimate district on Sunday morning.

Police said the vehicle crashed south of Makikihi on the Waimate Highway (State Highway 1) about 4.15am.

A Canterbury Serious Crash Unit (SCU) spokesman said the driver, who was the sole-occupant of the vehicle, was heading north towards Timaru when they veered off the road and into a power pole.

He said limited markings on the road were making it hard to determine the cause of the crash.

However, early reports suggested fatigue could have been a factor in the crash, he said.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) spokesman Mau Barbara said the person who was deceased, was trapped in the vehicle when two Waimate crews arrived at the scene shortly after 4.15am.

He said the vehicle was being taken to Timaru where crews would be required to cut the body free.

A police spokeswoman said the serious crash unit (SCU) were at the scene investigating the crash.

Diversions were in place and the road was closed for several hours following the crash. It was reopened shortly before 1pm.

An NZTA spokesman said the road had been cleared but it would be under stop/go management while a light pole was being replaced.

Police also attended two other serious crashes involving cars hitting power poles all within two hours of the Waimate crash.

The first crash happened at the intersection of Depot Rd and Parish Rd near the small rural community of Burnt Hill in the Waimakariri District at 4.24am on Sunday.

A police spokeswoman said two people received critical injuries after their car crashed into a power pole near the intersection.

Fenz spokesman Mau Barbara said both people were trapped inside the vehicle when two crews from Oxford and a rescue team from Rangiora arrived.

"They used multiple cutting gear to get them out," he said.

A St John spokeswoman said one person was flown by helicopter and the other taken by ambulance to Christchurch Hospital.

Diversions were in place around the intersection, while the SCU investigates the cause of the crash, the police spokeswoman said.

Shortly after, another person was seriously injured when they also crashed into a power pole.

Emergency services were called to the crash on Ardgowan Rd in Oamaru about 5.41am on Sunday.

A police spokeswoman said the car hit the pole before ending up in a nearby ditch on the side of the road.

She said early reports suggested alcohol may have been a factor in both the Waimakariri and Oamaru crashes.

A St John spokeswoman said one person received serious injuries in the crash and was flown to Dunedin Hospital.

Two other people have also been killed on South Island roads so far this weekend.

A man died after riding his motorcycle off the road in Southland.

Emergency services were called to the crash on Otahuti Rd, Otahuti, at 5.20pm on Saturday.

Another person died after a truck and car collided on the Milton Highway (SH1) near Lakeside Rd at 2.10pm on Friday.

Senior Sergeant Stan Leishman earlier said a person had died after the car and truck collided head on. Only one person was in the car.

He said the crash happened 200 metres north of the Lakeside Rd intersection with the Milton Highway.

The SCU continued to investigate both fatal crashes.

Emergency services were also called to a crash on Carrs Rd in Loburn, in the Waimakariri, just before noon on Sunday.

A police spokeswoman said a car was on it's roof.

The person who called in the accident described the car as "a very munted, light-coloured car", the spokeswoman said.

A St John statement said one person had minor injuries and was treated at the scene.

Police also responded to a two-car crash on Racecourse Rd in Sockburn about 12.20pm on Sunday. A police spokeswoman said one of the cars were blocking the road and debris was strewn across it. She said it was unclear how many people were involved and if they had received any injuries. Motorists should expect some diversions around the road, she said.

According to the Ministry of Transport's road toll statistics, 116 people have died on New Zealand roads so far this year with 18 of those coming from Canterbury.

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