Road toll: Seven dead in horror 48 hours on the roads

Two motorcyclists died today on the roads. Image file

A motorcyclist died in an accident in Bay of Plenty tonight, bringing the number of road deaths to seven in the past 48 hours.

The toll includes the death of two motorcyclists today and the death of a third motorist in the south of the North Island this morning.

It comes after four people died in a horror crash at Invercargill in the South Island yesterday afternoon.

The latest motorbike accident took place in Awakeri, just outside Whakatane in the Bay of Plenty, around 5.30pm today.

“Unfortunately the motorcyclist died at the scene,” police said.

The traffic diversions will remain in place until the scene is completed, police said.

“Motorists should delay their journey or seek an alternative route if possible. An investigation into the circumstances of the accident is ongoing.”

Earlier, another biker died this morning in the north of the country

This accident between a motorcycle and another vehicle took place in Whāngārei at the intersection of Western Hills Drive and Douglas St at 9:30 am.

“Unfortunately one person died at the scene. The Serious Accident Unit has completed its review of the accident scene and the roads have now reopened, following a blessing,” police said.

“The circumstances of the accident are still under investigation.”

A third person also died today on Arapaepae Rd (State Highway 57) in Levin, south of Palmerston North after a crash at 6:30 a.m.

Two other people were injured, one seriously, in the same incident.

Family members of four teenagers killed when their ute and a lorry collided yesterday in Invercargill gather at the scene today.  Photo/George Heard
Family members of four teenagers killed when their ute and a lorry collided yesterday in Invercargill gather at the scene today. Photo/George Heard

Today’s three deaths marked the tragic start to the Anzac Day long weekend, after four teenagers were also killed when their ute and a concrete lorry collided in Queens Drive, Invercargill, yesterday afternoon.

The teenagers, three aged 16 and one aged 17, all died at the scene. The truck driver was slightly injured.

Three of the young men were from the seaside town of Bluff, south of Invercargill, and it “has been a tragedy for the community of Bluff as a whole”, Southland Area Commander Mike Bowman said.

It was a small town and the deaths would have a “huge impact”.

“Obviously this is a tragedy for the families of the four young men who died,” Bowman said today, his voice shaking.

“And we will work very closely with them.”

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