26 Dec 2016

Desert Road and Manawatu Gorge re-open after crashes

10:05 pm on 26 December 2016

Manawatu Gorge and the Desert Road have both re-opened after crashes blocked both highways for hours.

One person died in the crash between a car and a motorcycle on State Highway 3 in Ashhurst, Manawatu, at about 5.45pm on Boxing Day afternoon.

Manawatu Gorge road

The Manawatu Gorge has been closed after a fatal crash. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Diversions were put in place for more than four hours while the serious crash unit investigated.

It was the eighth death on New Zealand roads since late Friday afternoon.

Desert Road, North Island

The Desert Road was closed for nearly 10 hours after a major crash. Photo: Dan Down Under / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Desert Road was also closed for nearly 10 hours after a truck and trailer rolled at about 11am today, completely blocking the road.

State Highway 2, which was closed earlier today while police investigated the fatal bus crash that killed two people on Christmas Eve, re-opened earlier this evening.

Meanwhile police say they are disappointed with unsafe, speeding and drink drivers seen in the Auckland region in the past couple of days.

Sergeant Mark Fleming said one person pulled over on Christmas Day blew nearly six times the legal breath alcohol limit.

People were unnecessarily putting others at risk at what was already a high-risk time on the roads, he said.

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