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Three die in crash on SH8 at Pukaki

Inspector Craig McKay, District Operations and Support Manager

Police can confirm three people have died in a multi-vehicle crash on State Highway 8 at Pukaki this afternoon.

Three others have serious injuries and a further two have moderate injuries.

The crash involved two vehicles and a motorcycle and happened between Hayman Road and Tekapo Canal Road about 1.30pm.

A large number of emergency service staff, including three rescue helicopters responded. Despite the best efforts of those first at the scene, three people were unable to be saved.

Several of the injured were trapped in the wreckage and needed to be cut out. Three of the injured have been flown to hospital.

One of the deceased was riding a motorcycle while the two others who lost their lives were travelling together in one of the cars.

We are in the early stages of the investigation to determine what caused this tragic event. The Serious Crash Unit is at the scene and their work will continue into the evening.

A complex and lengthy investigation lies ahead of us.

State Highway 8 will remain closed for some time yet and is not expected to reopen until late this evening.

Crashes of this nature are incredibly confronting, and we are arranging support for those members of the public who were first at the scene and tried their best to save lives. We can’t thank them enough.

Any fatal crash, but particularly one where multiple people have lost their lives, is confronting even for veteran emergency service personnel. We will also be making sure our staff at the scene have the support they need following this horrific event.

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Only 90 minutes after this crash, Police were alerted to a second three-vehicle crash a short distance away, at the intersection of State Highway 8 and Tekapo-Twizel Road. One person received serious injuries and nine others suffered minor-to-moderate.

Enquiries into the cause of the second crash are ongoing.

We want to ask every motorist on the roads this weekend to take extra care. Please take your time, have plenty of breaks and drive to the conditions. Crashes like this show how easy it is for things to go horribly wrong.

© Scoop Media

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