Horror crash: Three dead in Te Araroa, Gisborne, after vehicle hits tree

Three people are dead after a horror crash on State Highway 35 in Te Araroa in the Gisborne district early this morning.

Police confirmed the fatalities just after 9am – three hours after the crash happened about 5.45am.

A spokeswoman said the crash involved one vehicle that had crashed into a tree.

“Sadly, all occupants of the vehicle died at the scene,” she said.

“An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway.”

Emergency services remain at the spot, just north of Gisborne, more than three hours after the incident.

Motorists have been told to avoid the area altogether, as the road is closed off.

Fire and Emergency NZ earlier said it had sent two fire trucks to the crash.

St John confirmed it also sent two ambulance vehicles, but referred all inquiries to police.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency said the road is blocked just south of Tokatā Rd.

“Please take extra care and expect delays,” NZTA said on its Twitter alert.

Crash comes a month after fatal crash on same stretch

The crash comes almost a month to the day a local man was killed on the same stretch of road.

The victim, in his 50s, had been driving a people-mover type vehicle when it struck a tree near the Karakatūwhero Bridge on the morning of Thursday, October 15.

Emergency services were called to SH35, Te Araroa, about 7.30am. The driver died at the scene.

The Serious Crash Unit launched an investigation into the circumstances of the collision, with police saying at the time that the weather conditions had been “atrocious, with heavy rain and wind.”

A business owner in the area told the Herald this morning that the volunteer fire brigade had been called out to the scene also.

“They’ve gone out and are still out.”

He acknowledged it was a sad time for everyone involved and particularly given this was the second fatal crash in the same area in a matter of weeks.

Meanwhile, emergency services were kept busy last night after a single-vehicle crash in the central North Island has left three people critically injured and another person seriously hurt.

The crash happened on Harbottle Rd near the intersection of State Highway 26, Motumaoho, east of Hamilton, a police spokesperson said.

Police were called the scene at 6.20pm. A rescue helicopter also responded to the crash site.

Four ambulances attended along with one manager, a St John spokesperson said.

Earlier yesterday a west Auckland resident has described the “bloody awful” sound of a stolen car fleeing police crashing on her front lawn.

Police tried to stop the driver of a stolen car in the West Auckland suburb of Henderson on Sunday morning, after they received a report of it driving dangerously at Tango Place.

It fled police and crashed into a power pole before flipping across a residential lawn on Pomaria Rd.

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