'Tragic' road toll: Teen and man in his 30s killed walking on road to Rhythm and Vines

By Kelvin McDonald

Police want motorists to take care and drive safely as they head home from their holidays.

The plea follows a tragic level of road fatalities this holiday period, including the deaths overnight of two pedestrians hit by a vehicle while walking on the road to the Rhythm and Vines music festival in Gisborne. 

"Please, stay calm - treat the people in the cars around you like they're your own family," said Assistant Commissioner Bruce O'Brien.

So far this holiday period, there have provisionally been 14 deaths and a number of people seriously injured on the roads.

O'Brien said it is a "tragic reminder" of the realities of road crashes.

"That's 14 people who leave grieving loved ones behind at what is supposed to be a happy and relaxing time of year."

A male teenager and a man in his 30s were hit by a vehicle while walking on Back Ormond Rd, north of Gisborne, at 9.15pm on New Year's Eve. The pair were on their way to Rhythm and Vines.

"Emergency services attended but sadly one of the pedestrians died at the scene and another died in hospital after being transported in a critical condition," police said

Gisborne mayor Rehette Stoltz told Stuff, “It is just absolutely sad. We are sending out thoughts to the whānau involved.”