Ahipara man killed in crash on one lane bridge

Police were called to the crash around 9.50pm on Thursday night. Photo / NZME

A 74-year-old man died after a crash between a tow truck and a 4WD on a one-lane bridge in the Far North.

The man, who lived locally, had been driving the vehicle with a trailer attached on Roma Rd around 9.50pm on Thursday when the collision occurred.

Senior Constable Jeff Cramp of the Serious Crash Unit said the truck was heading toward Ahipara and a small 4WD vehicle was travelling away from Ahipara when they collided head-on.

The driver of the 4WD would have been obliged to give way at the one-way bridge.


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“We’re just looking into why, to try to find out how it came about,” Cramp said.

“We have to just investigate and try to work out whether there’s anything the driver of the truck could have done.”

The 74-year-old driver of the 4WD had a dog in the vehicle with him that was knocked unconscious but came around and took off after the crash, Cramp added.

The tow truck driver had a car on the back and a customer with him when the collision happened. No other injuries were reported.


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The deceased man was close to home when the crash happened, Cramp said, which could have been a factor.

“Bad things often happen to people when they’re almost home. It’s kind of like your mind, in some ways, switches off.”

Ahipara fire chief Dave Ross said his brigade was called, along with police, to Roma Rd, near the coastline, around 9.48pm.

“The bridge was completely jammed. You couldn’t get through.”

“It’s a very, very bad spot,” Ross said of the bridge where the crash unfolded.

Firefighters were at the scene for 4-1/2 hours. When they left the tow trucks were still removing wreckage from the closed road.

The death is the sixth road fatality in Northland this year – a stark contrast to the same time last year when the regional road toll sat at two deaths.

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