Holiday road toll at 16 as person dies in Waikato crash

The number of people killed on our roads during the Christmas and New Year break is the highest since 2016/17.

A total of 16 people have lost their lives around the country in crashes and incidents since the official period started at 4pm on Christmas Eve. It ends tomorrow at 6am.

This time last year, 11 people died during the holiday period. The year before that, the road toll stood at four. In 2018/19 nine people were killed and the year before that, 12 people died.

The highest number of deaths on New Zealand’s roads during the Christmas and New Year holiday period in recent times was during the 2016/17 season, when 19 people lost their lives on our roads.

Latest road deaths

Police confirmed this evening that a person has died after a car downed powerlines and caught fire in Waikato this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to Dawson Rd in Taupiri following the single-car crash at 4pm.

One person was also seriously injured.

“Police extends their sincere condolences to the person’s family and loved ones,” police said.

“Police will be making enquiries into what has occurred on behalf of the coroner, who will release their finding in due course.”

Earlier this morning another person died following a crash near Nelson Lakes National Park in Tasman.

Emergency services responded after the crash on State Highway 65 at Maruia around 8.30am.

One other person received moderate injuries.

Police are making inquiries into the circumstances of the crash on behalf of the coroner, police said in a statement.

On Sunday, four people were killed on roads around New Zealand; including a pedestrian and a motorcyclist.

A male rider died in a crash on State Highway 12 in Kaihū, Northland, about 12.20am.

A motorcycle passenger suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Whangārei Hospital.

Later that afternoon, a person died in a single-car crash on Arapuni Rd in the Waipā District in Waikato.

Another person was killed in a crash in Gisborne about 4.40pm that same afternoon.

A pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle on Waihī Rd in Judea, Tauranga, about 9.40pm that Sunday night.

New Year's Day tragedies

New Year’s Day also brought with it tragedy, after two people were killed in incidents in the early hours of the first day of 2022.

Police announced that a teenager had died after being struck by a vehicle in Omaha, north of Auckland.

The incident happened about 4am on Omaha Drive.

Authorities later named the victim was 17-year-old Joshua Hartner, a student at Auckland Grammar School.

About an hour before that incident, emergency services were called to St Aubyn St in New Plymouth after reports that a car had crashed into a parked vehicle.

A person was later confirmed to have died in that crash.

Christmas Eve

The first person killed during the official holiday period was Shaquille Dempsey, of Turangi.

The 24-year-old died in a crash on SH1 in Motutere, south of Taupō. Emergency crews were called to the area at 7.15pm.

Christmas Day

Three people were killed on Christmas Day alone, including a motorcyclist involved in a crash in Gordonton, Waikato.

Emergency crews were called to the area at around 9.20am. However, the motorcyclist was pronounced dead at the scene.

About the same time, emergency services were also heading to State Highway 1 Waihola, Otago, after a crash between a car and a truck. One person died in that collision.

The third Christmas Day fatality was a pedestrian who was hit by a vehicle later that night in the Auckland suburb of New Windsor.

The incident happened on Rosamund Ave about 10.15pm.

Boxing Day

On Boxing Day, a truck driver later named as John Osborne was killed when his truck and trailer rolled on SH7 Lewis Pass.

The crash was reported to authorities about 3.30am. No other vehicles were involved in the crash. Osborne, 62, was from Rangiora.

Thursday, December 30

A motorcyclist died on Thursday, December 30, in a crash near Rangipō, in the Taupō district.

The incident happened shortly before 7pm and the rider was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wednesday, December 29

One person was killed in a crash on SH1 Pukenui on Wednesday, December 29.

Emergency services responded to reports of a crash involving three vehicles. Several other people were injured as a result, and their injuries ranged from moderate to serious.

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