Another Samoan worker dies in New Zealand road accident

Emergency services at the scene of the fatal crash between a truck and van on SH5. Photo/Paul Taylor

One person has died and another 10 are injured after a vanload of Samoan workers collided with a wine-laden truck on State Highway 5, near Tarawera.

The Hawkes Bay Today reported the two-vehicle collision on the Napier-Taupo Rd, between Tataraakina Rd and Pohukura Rd occurred about 1000am this morning.

The van, one of a convoy of three travelling north, had moved to the left of the road before attempting to turn right into the Tarawera Cafe and crashing into the oncoming truck.

Both vehicles left the road and dropped down a 15 metre bank, where the mangled remains of the leaking truck stayed all through Monday.

Hawke’s Bay Police senior constable and serious crash analyst Tim Rowe confirmed one person died at the scene and said it appeared to have been caused by a “momentary lapse in concentration”.

In the van were 10 Samoan workers who were a part of the recognised seasonal employer scheme, and one New Zealander. All were on their way to Taupō for a holiday.

Hawke’s Bay road policing acting sergeant Nathan Ross said one passenger in the van, in their 30s, had died and the other 10 were in varying states.

The truck driver was not injured.

“Police are working with the Samoan council to inform their families,” Ross said.

Another Samoan seasonal worker recently died in a separate road accident in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand at the end of August. Two more seasonal workers also died in a car accident in Perth, Australia early last month.

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