Wellington Scoop

Two women killed, four injured, when Mitsubishi crashes into ditch near Longburn

News from NZ Police
Two women were killed and four people were injured in a single vehicle crash early yesterday morning near Longburn.

The two women who died were Kathryn Dinah Matenga, aged 70, of Gisborne, and Annie Tamanui, 69, also of Gisborne.

Two of the injured were in a critical condition.

Police are seeking witnesses to the crash that occurred at about 01:30 on State Highway 56 in the Manawatu District.

A white Mitsubishi Chariot station wagon with six people inside had been travelling north on the highway when it crossed the centreline and collided with a culvert near the intersection with Works Road.

UPDATE from NZ Police
Palmerston North Police are continuing to investigate the single vehicle crash that occurred near Longburn. Police believe a man aged 53 was driving the vehicle, a 70 year-old woman was seated in the front passenger seat, and two women aged 69 and 29, and a 10-year-old boy were back seat passengers. At this stage police cannot confirm where a 3-year-old boy was sitting at the time of the crash.

Police, Fire, and Ambulance attended however two of the women were pronounced dead at the scene. All occupants were transported to Palmerston North Hospital. Police believe all six people in the vehicle are related.

Senior Sergeant Ashley Gurney, Manawatü Area Response Manager says: “We believe the vehicle was travelling back to an address after having picked up a family member when the crash occurred. This is a horrific tragedy for the families of the victims and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this dark time.”

The driver and the 10-year-old are in a stable condition, the 29 year-old woman is in a serious condition, and the 3-year-old sustained minor injuries and is being monitored. All remain in hospital.

A local Kaumatua attended the crash scene and performed a blessing and karakia.

“We are working to determine what factors have led to the crash as well as the probability that the back seat passengers may not have been restrained. An examination of the vehicle is underway and we are still seeking witnesses. We want to speak to anyone who was driving down State Highway 56 around 1:30am as they may have seen something that could help us piece together the vehicle’s movements on the road prior to the collision and I encourage them to contact police,” says Senior Sergeant Gurney.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Senior Sergeant Gurney on (06) 351 3843. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.