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First day, first fatal crash

The intersection of McKinstry Ave and Masterton Castlepoint Rd, where there was a fatal crash on New Year’s day, 2018. PHOTO/HAYLEY GASTMEIER

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Not even a day into 2018 and Wairarapa’s road death toll already stands at one.

A Wairarapa motorcyclist was killed in a crash on Masterton Castlepoint Rd on New Year’s Day.

The 43-year-old man was pronounced dead at the scene after his bike and a ute collided at 5.20pm at the McKinstry Ave intersection.

The man’s death brought the national holiday road toll to 12.

This is the third motorcyclist to crash and die in the region in five weeks.

Sergeant Peter Rix attended Monday’s crash.

He said both vehicles had been travelling in a north-east direction, towards Castlepoint.

“The motorcycle collided with the rear of the utility vehicle.”

Mr Rix said a woman had been a passenger on the bike.

She was taken by ambulance to Wairarapa Hospital with moderate injuries, and a hospital spokesperson on Tuesday said the woman was in a stable condition.

Mr Rix said the driver of the ute was uninjured.

Inquiries into the crash were ongoing, and the Serious Crash Unit was investigating.

It was unclear whether charges would be laid at this stage, he said.

Police would be releasing the man’s name in due course.

The road was closed while a scene examination took place and the vehicles were removed by tow truck.

It reopened at 8.30pm.

Two of five people who died on Wairarapa roads in 2017 were motorcyclists.

Martinborough resident Marco Overdijk was killed on November 29 after his bike collided with a logging truck near Featherston.

On December 11, German tourist Arnold Alfred Thomas Zehner Jr died when his motorcycle collided with a truck near Castlepoint.

Experienced rider and Wairarapa Ulysses Club member Andy Wilson encouraged motorcyclists of all abilities to go on courses to improve their skills.

“A lot of riders have the attitude that ‘I don’t need to be taught because I’ve been riding for years’.

“But even if they think they’re not going to learn anything, maybe they should go and confirm what they’re doing is right.”

An added bonus was that people who completed the ‘gold’ ACC ride safe course were offered discounted rates from some insurance companies.

Mr Wilson said riders needed to wear “all the gear, all the time”, which would reduce any injuries should they fall of their bike.

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