Mother and son named as victims in car that burned after crash with two trucks

News from NZ Police
The two people who died in the three-vehicle crash on State Highway One near Sanson on Wednesday were a mother and her son from Levin.

The woman, aged 51, was Margaret Jane Turnbull. She was the mother of Trent Cole Whitburn aged 20.

“The crash investigation is ongoing and there is still a lot of information to be sourced and reviewed before any conclusions can be drawn especially in relation to any potential criminal charges,” says Acting Detective Sergeant Shelly Ross of the Manawatu CIB.

Central House Movers, the company contracted to transport the catamaran was not involved in the crash. The company transporting the over-sized load operated in a professional manner and legally had all the appropriate permits to cover their journey.

“We can confidently say at this stage in our investigation that the Big Chill truck and the Nissan vehicle have not been contributing factors to this crash,” says Acting Detective Sergeant Ross.

Wellington.Scoop – January 9
Police today confirmed that two people were killed in the crash involving three vehicles which caught fire on State Highway One near Sanson early yesterday morning. They both died in the Nissan which was trapped between two trucks. Police say they were a 51-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man, both from Levin.

“We are still working through the formal identification process and the crash investigation is ongoing. We are only 48 hours into this tragic event and we don’t yet have all the answers but are working to establish the events leading up to the crash,” says Senior Sergeant Nigel Allan.

Media yesterday reported that the crash killed two people. But at that time police would only confirm that one person had died. They said they were unable to tell whether or not there had been a second person in the car.

News from NZ Police – January 8 at 4am
A fatal crash has blocked State Highway 1 south of Sanson. The crash occurred just after midnight and involved two trucks and a car, travelling between Sanson and Foxton. The car became caught between the two trucks, and in the resulting crash it and both trucks caught fire. All vehicles were travelling in the same direction.

One occupant of the car died at the scene. It is yet to be confirmed if there were any other occupants. Neither truck driver appeared to have been injured.

Both lanes of SH1 are blocked and will be for some time while a scene investigation is undertaken and debris is cleared from the road. It is not expected that the road will open before mid morning. Diversions are therefore in place as follows:

Southbound traffic will be diverted off SH1 from Rongotea Road. Northbound traffic will be diverted off SH1 from Himatangi Beach Road.

Due to the fact that traffic will be diverted along back roads, motorists may experience delays and will need to drive with caution.

News from NZ Police – January 8 at 9.44am
Traffic diversions remain in place after the fatal crash on State Highway 1, south of Sanson. Diversions are currently in place on Milner Road and Himatangi Crossroads (State Highway 56). The diversions are expected to continue to at least 12 noon.

The crash occurred just after midnight and involved two trucks; a B-train and a semi-trailer, and a Nissan vehicle travelling between Sanson and Foxton.

One person in the Nissan vehicle died at the scene and while Police believe there was a second person in the vehicle this has yet to be confirmed. Also at this stage Police cannot confirm the gender of the deceased.

“Both truck drivers did not sustain any injuries from the crash but were taken to hospital for assessment. They are both understandably very shaken up from the crash and we hope to formally speak to them in the next few days,” says Senior Sergeant Nigel Allan, Area Response Manager.

Preliminary indications suggest that all three vehicles were travelling southbound at the time of the crash. As a result of the crash all three vehicles caught on fire which has affected the road surface.

The Serious Crash Unit is conducting a scene examination and the vehicles will be removed from the scene today for further analysis.

“I want to thank motorists for their understanding as we work to have the highway open as soon as possible. In the meantime I would ask that motorists take alternative routes and exercise caution on diversion routes,” says Senior Sergeant Allan.

News from NZTA at 3.45
SH1 between Foxton & Sanson has re-opened in both directions. A speed restriction of 50km/h is in place.

News from NZ Police at 4.28
State Highway One, south of Sanson is now open with both lanes fully operational after a fatal car crash early this morning. The highway re-opened at 3:45pm this afternoon and there is a sign posted speed limit of 50 kilometres per hour in place due to the fresh repairs to the highway.

All three vehicles involved in the crash were removed from the scene mid-afternoon and have been taken away for analysis.

“We are continuing to investigate the cause of the crash and make inquiries with witnesses. I want to thank motorists and residents in the area for their patience while we cleared the road and completed our scene examination. I urge motorists to continue to exercise caution and stay alert to the road conditions,” says Senior Sergeant Nigel Allan.

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