News from NZ Police
Four people were killed last night in a head-on collision on State Highway 2 just south of the Kaiteratahi Bridge, which is 30 kms south of the Te Karaka township. The crash occurred at about 9.15 pm.
One of those who was killed was a woman in an Odessa van who was travelling to her parents’ address in Whatatutu from Gisborne, after being the sober driver for the night for one of her friends. She was a 33 year old mother. Her vehicle collided head on with a Ford Explorer vehicle travelling towards Gisborne.
The Ford Explorer caught fire and its three passengers died. The driver of this vehicle, a 59 year old man, is in a serious but stable condition in Gisborne Hospital.
Passersby attempted to assist the occupants of the burning vehicle but were unsuccessful in being able to release their seat belts before the fire took hold.
Police will need forensic examinations to establish the identity of the three passengers from the Ford Explorer. Police believe that they are related to the driver but he is in an induced coma and has not yet been spoken to.
The occupants of the Ford Explorer were from Putaruru and were travelling to Gisborne to visit family. They have a large and extended family in various parts of the North Island.
Police believe that the Ford Explorer crossed the centre line and alcohol was a factor.