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Fatal crashes rock region

Two people have been killed in separate crashes on Wairarapa roads.

Emergency services, including a rescue helicopter, responded to the first crash on the Remutaka Hill Rd at 6.30am yesterday.

An hour later, police reported the second crash at 7.30am on Kokotau Rd, on the outskirts of Carterton.

Featherston Fire Brigade chief Colin McKenna said two cars collided on the No2 Bridge on the Featherston side of the Remutaka Hill Rd, killing one driver.

The driver of the other vehicle sustained serious injuries and was flown to Wellington Hospital.

Police said the road was closed just before 7am and re-opened at 11.45am after the scene had been cleared and the Serious Crash Unit had investigated.

Motorists travelling over the Remutaka Hill Rd were told to expect “significant delays” and urged by police to avoid the area.

Waka Kotahi NZTA encouraged northbound commuters to detour via the Saddle Rd, through SH1, SH57, and then back onto SH2.

The transport agency said the detour would add at least three hours to the journey of motorists travelling to Wairarapa.

Further north, Kokotau Rd was closed after a fatal single-vehicle crash, which was reported to police at 7.30am.

Emergency services confirmed the vehicle veered off the road, colliding with a tree.

Police said the driver died at the scene.

Diversions were put in place at Tiffin Rd and Ponatahi Rd, with the road reopened by 1.15pm.

Police extended their condolences to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the crashes.

Yesterday’s double fatality raised Wairarapa’s 2023 road toll to three.

In February, the Times-Age reported on a fatal head-on collision on SH2 at Clareville.

Waka Kotahi data shows that in the past 10 years there have been eight fatal crashes on Remutaka Hill Rd, and at least one fatal crash on Kokotau Rd, in 2013.

Grace Prior
Grace Prior
Grace Prior is a senior reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age with a keen interest in environmental issues. Grace is the paper’s health reporter and regularly covers the rural sector, weather, Greater Wellington Regional Council, and coastal stories.

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