State Highway 1 near Levin reopens after fatal crash

A man has died following a two car crash in Horowhenua.
Emergency services were alerted to the crash in hau, near the intersection of Kuku Beach Rd, just before 1.30pm on Tuesday.

A statement issued by police said that prior to the crash they had signalled for a vehicle to stop.

An officer approached the vehicle, but the driver took off, driving at speed south along SH1.

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Maxine Jacobs/Stuff
The serious crash unit at the scene on State Highway 1, which had now reopened.

Police did not pursue the vehicle, but a short time later came across the scene of the crash.

The driver of the vehicle police stopped died at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle appeared uninjured but had been transported by ambulance to hospital for observation.

Both lanes were closed, but reopened at 4.30pm.

The NZ Transport Agency said the serious crash unit was at the scene to investigate, after the road was closed for several hours.

Traffic had backed up several kilometres as there was no viable detour. The only alternative option was via Wairarapa, which would add at least two hours to the journey.

Maxine Jacobs/Stuff
A school bus is stuck in traffic after the crash.

Three ambulances attended the scene, and a St John spokeswoman said a helicopter had been stood down.

Frustration at the dead end diversion on Muhunoa East Rd, that intersected with SH1, was mounting when the cordon reached its second hour.

John Jenkins had been waiting in the queue for more than one hour trying the get across the bridge from hau to Manakau.

He was aware of how dangerous State Highway 1 could be.

His son died in a crash along the stretch a few years ago after his motorbike was hit from behind by an impaired driver.

Its the mentality of some drivers, Jenkins said.

This is a notorious part of the road between taki and Levin. So many lives have been claimed.

Settling in for the long haul Cameron Butler and his son Finn, 11, from Te Horo were making the most of the wait.

The pair had been in Palmerston North for the Weet-Bix triathlon and saw the time on Google Maps getting longer and longer as they approached their destination.

With an abundance of apples in the back of Butlers van, he decided to share them with the rest of the convoy.

I just looked back and thought here are all these apples and walked up and down the line sharing.

hau School said, on its Facebook page, that children would be kept in the school hall playing games until they could be picked up or the buses could leave.

The buses left about 3.30pm, but it was expected to be a slow trip home.

Bathrooms were opened at the hau Domain for those stuck in traffic.


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