25 Dec 2011

Double fatality raises road toll to five

6:50 pm on 25 December 2011

Two children have died in a crash in the Bay of Plenty, emergency services say.

The deaths on Sunday afternoon raised the holiday road toll to five.

Police said the two-car collision occurred at 4.20pm on Welcome Bay Road, in Tauranga.

They said one of the vehicles rolled.

A St John spokesperson at the scene said seven people were involved in the crash and four were taken to hospital in serious condition.

The spokesperson said that those who died were believed to be young children.

All of those hurt were believed to be from one vehicle, which was carrying six people.

Three people died in road crashes on Saturday. Gareth Toby Waller, who was 29, died at the scene of a crash near Geraldine in South Canterbury.

Emergency services were called to Burdon Road, Woodbury at 6.46pm, where his car had left the road and rolled into the Waihi River.

One person died in Christchurch when a car hit a pole on New Brighton Road and plunged into the Avon River early on Saturday morning.

In Taranaki, a woman died when her car crashed into a light truck on SH3 south of Waitara. Police say the truck driver and passenger were unhurt.

Meanwhile, the death of a person in a car that crashed into a tree on Waiuku Road in Counties Manukau about 8am on Saturday is likely to have been from causes other than the accident itself, police say. The fatality is not being included in official toll statistics.

Drivers urged to take care

The national manager of road policing, Paula Rose, urged motorists to consider the risks when driving to see family and friends for Christmas celebrations.

Superintendent Rose said there were just two road deaths by the end of Christmas Day last year.

She said alcohol, speed and driver fatigue are the most common causes of road deaths at this time of year.

The official holiday period began at 4pm on 23 December and ends at 6am on 4 January.

Last year, there were 12 fatalities.