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Police reinforce slow down message following Waikato crash

Police reinforce slow down message following second Waikato crash

As visitor numbers swell and thousands more motorists clog winding Coromandel roads, Waikato Police are urging motorists to slow down.

Officer in charge of the summer policing operation in Whangamata, Senior Sergeant Fred Grace, said the call comes after what appears to be the second speed related crash involving a car failing to negotiate a corner in as many days.

"In this case a Hamilton based unit on its way to Whangamata came around a corner to find a two car collision with one vehicle on fire on the Morrinsville-Tahuna Rd about 2.30pm.

"The officers called ambulance and fire staff to assist but were able to extinguish the fire with their own extinguishers and set about trying to help the injured."

Ms Grace said the crash was still under investigation but it appears one of the vehicles has failed to negotiate the bend and crossed the centreline and was hit by an innocent oncoming car.

"There were four people injured in the crash, the sole occupant of one vehicle and three people in the other. All were taken by ambulance to Waikato Hospital with a variety of injuries.

"What concerns us is this crash comes a day after a similar one which left six people injured and closed SH25 around the eastern side of the Coromandel Peninsula for several hours. The road where today's crash happened is a major link road with the rest of the Waikato."

Ms Grace said the road could not be re-opened until spilt fuel and battery acid had been contained meaning many more motorists would be inconvenienced because of a moment's driver inattention.

"Outside this time of year, the permanent population of the Coromandel Peninsula is less than 15,000 but over the Christmas/ New Year Holiday period this figure swells to over 100,000, that's about 85,000 more people who have to get in and out of our area using our local winding roads."

Ms Grace said drivers need to be cautious when using Coromandel roads during peak periods and factor in delays when planning their trips.

"Remember to allow breathing space between you and other motorists.

"This is a rugged rural landscape and you are a long way from any help in an area with poor cell-phone coverage. Our advice to drivers is to watch your speed and ensure that you do all you can to make sure you and your loved ones reach your destination safely."

ENDS

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