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Motorcyclist dies in hill crash

Remutaka Hill was closed on Tuesday while the Serious Crash Unit examined the scene of the accident. PHOTO/MARCUS ANSELM

A motorcyclist died in a crash on the Remutaka Hill on Tuesday.

The road was closed from just after midday, when the crash happened.

A police spokesperson said police were notified of the incident involving a single vehicle at 1.15pm.

A Wellington Free Ambulance spokesperson said they were still at the scene at 2pm.

A helicopter was called to fly the patient to hospital.

Police later confirmed the person had died.

They said the road would remain closed while the Serious Crash Unit examined the scene, and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

The road was still closed at 5pm on Tuesday.

NZTA said motorists should delay their travel.

“The Serious Crash Unit is still on site carrying out their investigation. Crews will then need to clear the road so that it can open to traffic,” an NZTA spokesperson said.

They said the only alternative route between Wellington and Wairarapa is through SH1, SH57, then SH2 – which would add around three hours to the journey.

NZTA provides updates on its “Journey Planner” webpage and social media.

New Zealand Motorcycle Safety Consultants chief executive Alan Kirk said the hill was an ongoing risk for motorcyclists who make a mistake.

He said matters were made worse by “safety paraphernalia” designed for cars but not for motorcyclists.

“I have been worried for quite some time about the safety railing. It has an international record of killing motorcyclists.

“Some places overseas use special cladding to stop motorcyclists from being killed.”

Kirk said the cladding was not expensive, but motorcyclists seemed to be expendable.

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