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Police Describe "Horrific" Weekend

Horrific is how Waikato Police describe a weekend that is only halfway through

Horrific is how Waikato Police are describing a weekend that is only half way through after three separate motor vehicle crashes have left two men dead and another fighting for his life.

The call comes from District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Freda Grace, who said these latest incidents mean 10 people's families are having to deal with the trauma of the tragic and sudden loss of a loved one while around five people are still being treated for life changing injuries.

"The first incident involved an 80-year-old pedestrian being struck down by a van as he crossed SH1 at Karapiro intending to go into a cafe about 1.40pm yesterday.

"Suffering serious head injuries the man was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance in a critical condition."

Mrs Grace said the next incident resulted in emergency services being called to the scene of a collision between a motorcycle and a truck and trailer unit in the settlement of Wardville near Matamata, shortly before midday today.

"That crash is still under investigation by the Waikato Serious Crash Unit so it would be premature to speculate on the cause, what we can confirm however is that a 45-year-old motorcyclist suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

"The other thing we can confirm is that this is the fifth fatal collision on Waikato roads this year involving motorcycles and the cost is too much to the loved ones left behind. Regardless of who is established as being at fault what we have now is nine people dead on our roads compared to four for the same period last year,"

The next incident to claim a life occurred not on a road but at a popular Waikato racetrack about 1.25pm.

"At this time emergency services attended a crash where a 68-year-old man died after his 1961 Cooper open-wheel formula car failed to negotiate a sweeping bend and collided with a wall.

"Because part of the management of the event involves having emergency crews in place at the track, medical aid was available to the man straight away however he died at the scene. Though the incident occurred on a race track and is therefore not a road fatality, Police are investigating the matter on behalf of the Coroner."

Mrs Grace said each of the three events was different in its own right but one thing they each had in common was that there are now three different families having to come to terms with the trauma of motor vehicle crashes.

"At this time we would like to express the sympathies of the NZ Police to the families involved.

"At the same time Police are urging all road users, be they on the road, track or footpaths across our region to exercise the utmost care and caution, after all you may be the world's best driver or rider or the most observant of pedestrians but you just never know what the other person is going to do."


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