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Man dead after hit and run

There were several crashes in the region over the weekend, including a car colliding with a power pole in Masterton. PHOTO/GEORGE SHIERS

Horror weekend on Wairarapa’s roads
Three trapped in SH53 crash

One person is dead, and another two are in hospital after a horror weekend on Wairarapa’s roads.

Police responded to a call of a sudden death near Castlepoint early on Saturday morning after a man was found lying on the road in what was thought to be a hit and run.

On Sunday police named the man who died after being found unresponsive on Masterton-Castlepoint Rd.

He was Lawziah Karaitiana, aged 20.

A portion of the road between Mataikona Rd and McLaughlin Dr was closed off for scene examination.

“Police were called to the scene about 4.30am after the man was found unresponsive on the road,” a spokesperson for New Zealand Police said.

“Initial indications are that he may have been struck by a vehicle.”

Police said Karaitiana had been living in the Castlepoint area and said they were continuing work to trace his movements on the night of his death.

“Police are now working to piece together the man’s movements the night before he died and to understand the circumstances surrounding his death.

“We have talked to a number of people and are also reviewing CCTV footage from the area in order to establish the circumstances leading to Lawziah’s death.”

The Serious Crash Unit examined the scene, and the road was closed until about 12.30pm on Saturday for an investigation to be carried out, causing delays to travellers.

Police urged anyone who had information about the event – including residents with CCTV cameras overlooking Masterton-Castlepoint Rd – to come forward.

“Anyone who has information that might help police, or who has knowledge of the incident or those involved, is urged to speak to us.”

On Saturday night, a second serious collision closed the roads for several hours on State Highway 53 near Martinborough after a car rolled, trapping three people inside.

Police, fire, and ambulance were all needed at the scene. Police arrived at the crash just north of Martinborough at 8.56 pm.

“A single vehicle rolled multiple times,” Martinborough fire chief Jake Hawkins said.

“There were three occupants in the vehicle who were heavily trapped.”

The Greytown Volunteer Fire Brigade used extrapolation tools, also known as the ‘Jaws of Life’, to remove the occupants from the vehicle

Two rescue helicopters were on the scene to transport two of the three occupants to Wellington Hospital in serious condition. The third occupant received minor injuries.

SH53 between Backwater Rd and Kitchener St was closed after the crash, and police asked motorists to find alternative routes.

At the time of publication, the crash was still under police investigation.

A third crash involved a car hitting a power pole in Solway on Sunday afternoon, crumpling the engine and ripping up the footpath. Police and fire attended the crash shortly before 2pm.

An officer on the scene confirmed that there had been no injuries.


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