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Operation Swamp

Operation Swamp

New Zealand Police National News Release
9:11am 28 May 2008

28 May 2008

Just hours after a combined Police and Court Bailiff operation targeting rural Eastern Waikato roads officers were called to the scene of a fatal crash east of Morrinsville.

The head of the Matamata-Piako Strategic Crash Unit, Sergeant Neil Mansill, said the crash happened at the intersection of Kereone and Maungakawa Roads shortly before 6pm.

"Initial indications are that a Ford Falcon car driving on Mangakawa Rd has come to an X intersection at Kereone Rd has failed to give way and driven directly into the path of a Morrinsville bound 4x4.

"The driver and sole occupant of the Falcon, a 49-year-old local woman, died at the scene, we expect to be able to release her name later in the day."

Mr Mansill said the crash came as a heavy blow to Police who had only completed a major operation focusing on driver and vehicle serviceability on Eastern Waikato roads that afternoon.

"On hearing the news staff were pretty upset that despite their best efforts that day this tragedy wasn't able to be averted."

The operation, carried out in conjunction with Court bailiffs saw 2241 vehicles stopped on roads across the Matamata- Piako and Hauraki areas.

Bailiffs impounded seven vehicles who's drivers had outstanding fines while Police impounded another three.

"Shortly after 8am, just as we were setting up a car was stopped at Tahuna driving at 145km/h while at Waitoa a mother driving with her child was stopped without a licence, warrant of fitness for her car or registration.

"She told us she had been fined $800 for the same thing the week before," said Mr Mansill.

Disturbingly one driver stopped that morning had an excess breath alcohol reading of 773mgms, another at Waitoa blew 563mgms.

The legal limit for an adult driver is 400mgms per litre of breath.

"Yesterday's activities and last night's tragedy shows the importance of a highly visible Police presence not just in our towns but on our rural arterial routes across the district," said Mr Mansill.

"We will be continuing these operations at irregular but frequent intervals."


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