Easter road toll: Five dead – pedestrian killed in Wellington bus crash

A pedestrian is dead after being hit by a bus in central Wellington, bringing to five the Easter road toll.

All of the deaths have so far occurred in the North Island.

Police were called to Taranaki St in central Wellington just before 10pm on Saturday after the pedestrian was fatally hit by a bus.

“Cordons are in place and motorists are asked to avoid the Taranaki St area between Ghuznee St and Bidwill St,” said police in a statement.

“This closure is likely to cause other disruptions in surrounding streets and we ask for your patience.”

Earlier on Saturday, a motorcycle and a car collided at Waimangu, south of Rotorua.

One person was killed and another injured in the collision on SH38 at the intersection with Okaro Rd about 11am.

On Friday, a woman died at the scene of two-vehicle crash near Whakamaru, about 50km north of Taupō.

She was Tauranga woman Kellie Jane Greer, 49, the driver of one of the vehicles.

One of the vehicles caught fire after the crash at the intersection of SH30 and SH32 at midday.

On Thursday evening, a man was killed on SH2 at Mangatawhiri, 60km south of Auckland.

The victim was Kalam Safari Watkin-Mamode, 22, who lived at Mangatawhiri.

About 90 minutes earlier on Thursday, at 8pm, a person was killed in a crash involving a truck and a car on SH27 in the Waikato settlement of Kaihere.

Three others received moderate injuries in the crash.

Investigations into the crashes were ongoing, police said.

The five deaths mark a rise from the Easter road toll last year when no fatalities were recorded while the country was in level-4 lockdown to stop the spread of Covid-19.

In 2019, the New Zealand Easter road toll was four.

Waka Kotahi/NZTA Auckland operations manager Rua Pani said there were simple things motorists could do to stay safe on the roads.

“Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave,” said Pani.

“Drive to the conditions – whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.

“Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and take regular breaks to stay alert.”

For Aucklanders, Waka Kotahi/NZTA advises southern motorways into the region will be busiest from 1pm to 5pm on Monday.

Those returning from the north can expect the busiest times to be between10am and 4.30pm on Monday.

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