Driver dies on 90 Mile Beach

NgaiTakoto has declared a rahui, banning fishing and taking shellfish, 5km north and south of Waipapakauri Ramp.
NgaiTakoto has declared a rahui, banning fishing and taking shellfish, 5km north and south of Waipapakauri Ramp.

A 43-year-old man died when the Toyota Prado he was driving flipped on 90 Mile Beach on Friday night, while his three passengers were injured.

A 27-year-old man was flown to Whangarei Hospital, where he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, by rescue helicopter, and a 24-year-old woman was taken by ambulance to Kaitaia Hospital. Both were described as in a critical condition.

A 21-year-old woman, who was in the back seat, suffered minor injuries. She was believed to be the only occupant who was wearing a seatbelt, and the only one not to be thrown from the vehicle.

The name of the deceased, who was believed to be local, has yet to be released.

The Northland Age understands the vehicle had accessed the beach at Waipapakauri Ramp, the driver then performing "skids."

Emergency services, including the Kaitaia Fire Brigade, were called at 9.40pm, Chief Fire Officer Craig Rogers saying the firefighters helped St John medics tend to the injured and set up lighting to guide the helicopter crew.

An Ahipara Fire Brigade crew remained at the scene for some time to provide lighting for the police serious crash investigator.

Debbie Cameron, owner of the Ninety Mile Beach Holiday Park, said she was at home with her family when she saw ambulances go past.

Her husband and 15-year-old daughter went to see what had happened, and encountered a horrible scene.

"They said there were bodies lying everywhere," she told the Herald on Sunday.

NgaiTakoto has imposed a rahui on 10km of the beach, extending 5km north and south of Waipapakauri Ramp, which prohibits fishing and the taking of shellfish.

The rahui will remain in place until Sunday.

The crash took Northland's road toll for this year to two. It was the first fatality in the Far North.

- Northland Age

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