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Police safety message follows Waikato crashes

Sunday 9 Mar 2014 7:34 a.m.

Three separate motor vehicle crashes in Waikato have left two men dead and another fighting for his life, prompting a safety message from police.

Inspector Freda Grace, the road policing manager for Waikato district, says the weekend so far has been "horrific".

The first accident involved an 80-year-old pedestrian being struck down by a van as he crossed State Highway 1 at Karapiro intending to go into a cafe about 1:40pm on Friday.

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

Insp Grace said a collision between a motorcycle and a truck and trailer unit in the settlement of Wardville near Matamata shortly before midday yesterday was the fifth fatal collision on Waikato roads this year involving a motorcycle.

"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."

In the third accident about 1:25pm yesterday 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 during a race at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park.

"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," she said.

She said there were now three different families having to come to terms with the trauma of motor vehicle crashes.

"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."

NZN

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