Road toll reaches 20 in first week of April

By Jessica Tyson

A fatal car crash in Auckland last night has added to a total of 20 fatalities on New Zealand roads in the first week of April.  

That's already more than double the number of road deaths than occurred any other April in the last four years, according to the Ministry of Transport. 

In April 2018 nine people passed away in New Zealand roads and in April 2015 four died.

The most recent crash occurred at 10pm last night on Portland Road, Remuera in Auckland.

Monday last week was the deadliest day on New Zealand roads in more than a decade when nine people were killed in crashes.

The number of people killed on roads compared to any other April in the last four years has more than doubled. Source: Ministry of Transport.

 On Monday morning, five family members died at a crash on Tirohanga Road, Taupō District when their vehicle crashed into trees.

A sixth passenger was also transported to Waikato Hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.

Those who lost their lives in the crash were 44-year-old Peter Rangikataua, 15-year-old Michelle Morgan-Rangikataua, 14-year-old Aroha Morgan-Rangikataua, 12-year-old Kahukura Morgan-Rangikataua of Rotorua and 26-year-old Rangi Rangikataua of Atiamuri.

Two of the occupants were students of Rotorua Lakes High School and one from Rotorua Intermediate.  None of the six occupants in the vehicle were wearing seat belts. 

Bodies of those lost in the Tirohanga Rd crash were taken to their marae in Rotorua on Wednesday.

On Friday two people were killed in a crash in Christchurch.

They were Fulumoa Daly, 35, and Ezekiel Loua, 12. Two children injured in the crash were also sent to Christchurch Hospital in a critical condition.

One person also died following a serious crash on Sandspit Road, Warkworth, on Saturday morning.

Easter weekend

Police are advising people to take extra care on the roads, especially leading into Easter weekend.

Assistant Commissioner Sandra Venables says police are committed to reducing death and injury but cannot do it alone.

“We need everyone’s help to keep our roads safe.  Remember, decisions you make as a driver impact not only on you but on everybody else on the road," she says.

"You have a responsibility to yourself, your passengers, and other road users to drive safely."

NZ Transport Agency director Harry Wilson says his thoughts and sympathies are with the whānau and communities affected by last week’s tragic events.

“Every road tragedy has a ripple effect out into our communities, our workplaces and of course within families," he says.

“With the Easter holiday period approaching, we are asking everyone to remember plan ahead, take regular breaks and stay safe on our roads.”