Fatal Whangārei crash: Woman thrown from car after it went down bank

The driver of a Subaru Impreza crashed through this wooden fence along Whareora Rd, near entrance to A H Reed Memorial Park. Photo / Michael Cunningham

The Whangārei woman killed after her car crashed down a bank and landed in a creek was not wearing a seatbelt, police say.

The 31-year-old Tikipunga local was driving a Subaru Impreza along Whareora Rd when it crashed through a wooden fence near A H Reed Memorial Park at around 3.25am. The woman was thrown from the car as it landed roughly six metres down a bank into the Paranui Stream.

Family members at the crash site this morning were too upset to speak to the Advocate.

Serious crash analyst Senior Constable Jeff Cramp said the vehicle was heading downhill towards the park when it crossed the centre line and crashed through the fence.


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He said it appeared the car initially landed on its left side before it bounced back on its wheels.

“She wasn’t wearing a seat belt and got thrown out of the car.”

Cramp said police were waiting for a toxicology report and to hear from witnesses. The woman had been with a group of people prior to the crash.

There were no signs of skid marks on the road which has a speed limit of 70km/h, he said.


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The road was closed as police investigated and while a crane hauled the car out of the stream. The closed road eventually reopened at about 8.30am.

The woman’s death has pushed Northland’s road toll to 24 so far this year.

Cramp said repeated safety messages were not getting through to some motorists.

He said crashes involving four-wheel-drives with tyre configurations that were unsuitable for open roads, in particular, have risen in Northland over the past 12 months.

“The tyres are more suitable for off-road driving but people think they will have the same amount of traction on open roads. They don’t, although they are legal to drive on open roads.

“They have mud/sand tyres and they don’t have the same durability on open roads, especially in wet weather.”

Cramp reiterated earlier safety messages for motorists to be careful on the roads, especially this long weekend, always wear a seat belt, and drive to conditions.

The woman’s death has been referred to the Coroner.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport have joined police in urging drivers to be responsible for their safety and that of others this weekend.

Superintendent Steve Greally, director of the National Road Policing Centre, said police did not want to see more families mourning due to an avoidable road crash.


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