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Serious crash on SH53

One person was taken by Westpac Life Flight helicopter in critical condition to Wellington Regional Hospital following a serious two-vehicle crash on State Highway 53 between Georges Rd and Waihenga Bridge on Monday night.

Police were advised at 5.25pm that two cars had been involved in the head on collision that resulted in one driver being airlifted to Wellington and the other driver being transported to Masterton Hospital with minor injuries.

Emergency services from Wellington Free Ambulance [WFA], police, and Fire and Emergency [Fenz] responded to the crash.

Martinborough chief fire officer Jake Hawkins responded to the callout alongside members of the Martinborough and Greytown fire brigades and said all of the emergency response agencies had worked well as a team.

The vehicles were travelling in opposite directions and it appeared that the northbound car had crossed the centre line of the state highway, which has a speed limit of 100kmh.

Hawkins said the driver of the northbound car had to be extricated with a hydraulic rescue tool – also known as the ‘jaws of life’ – while the driver of the southbound car was able to remove themselves from the vehicle.

Crews on the scene worked to stabilise the vehicles, provide patient care, and block the road from other road users.

Hawkins wanted to remind other road users “to slow down for emergency services”, especially when they are working on the roadside. When the first crews arrived at the crash site, other road users continued
to drive past at full speed.

Even after the fire crew parked their trucks across the road to close it off, several people still drove around them and onto the scene, Hawkins said.

“We’re busy looking after people that have had accidents, we don’t need to be worrying about our own safety,” he said.

The road was closed until about 11.15pm on Monday night to allow for the Police Serious Crash Unit to investigate.

A spokesperson for Life Flight confirmed the chopper received the job at 5.27pm and was in the air four minutes later.

It took 28 minutes to arrive on the scene, and the helicopter was able to take off with the patient about an hour later, taking only 25 minutes to land on the rooftop helipad at the hospital.

A spokesperson for Te Whatu Ora confirmed the patient taken to Masterton Hospital had been discharged while the person at Wellington Hospital remains in a serious condition.

Investigations into the cause of the crash are ongoing.


  1. The laws for driving 🚗 are there it’s the stupid 🙄 driver’s that have no commonsense at all and should NOT BE DRIVING. Question what do you 🤔 do when you see flashing lights? IF YOU NEED TO THINK ABOUT IT DON’T DRIVE YOUR ARE A DANGER TO EVERYONE ON THE ROAD.

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