Kapiti Observer : January 5th 2012
Your community partner for more than 60 years THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2012 IN BRIEF INSIDE New Year honours, page 3 Fantastic flying machines, page 5 What's in store at the movies, page 8 Hunt for shooters Police are searching for the occupants of a green four- door vehicle involved in a shooting incident in Raumati South on December 28. A group of teenagers were walking near Jeep and Tennis Court roads when they were struck by a projectile fired from the car, Sergeant Ian Osland said. The teenagers were unsure what was fired at them, but were left with welts about two centimetres in diameter, he said. Mr Osland said the weapon could have been similar to a paintball gun judging by the injuries. Shark no problem A shark sighting at Waikanae Beach did not deter swimmers on Boxing Day, despite police warnings to beach-goers about the two- metre long creature. Sergeant Ian Osland said the shark was spotted by several people at about 6pm on December 26, about 15 or 20 metres off the beach. It was estimated to be about 2m long, but Mr Osland said it didn't seem to affect people using the beach. ''From the sounds of it nobody really minded that there was a shark out in the water.'' Editorial 04 298 5019 -- Advertising 04 298 5019 -- Fax 04 298 2073 -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- kapitiobserver.co.nz. Killer bend claims two more lives Double fatality: The scene of the crash that killed two people and injured a Levin family, near Paraparaumu. The cross shows the proximity to a fatal crash on the same bend in September. Photo: JOHN MILLS By BEN STRANG A Levin family are lucky to be alive after a fatal crash on a notorious stretch of road near Otaihanga, north of Parapara- umu. Two people died in the crash on December 30 when the driver of a southbound Honda lost control at the end of the State Highway 1 passing lane, the car crossing the centre line and smashing into a family of five driving north, police said. Sergeant Ron Walker said 39-year-old Titahi Bay man Lance Rielly and stepdaughter Stephanie Fox, 18, were killed in the collision. The family in the southbound Ford were all injured, with the mother still in hospital yesterday with broken legs, a damaged kid- ney, and facial injuries. Her left wrist had also been reconstructed, Mr Walker said. The father suffered a broken left arm, cuts and bruises and seatbelt burn, but had returned home with his three children. His 11-year-old child suffered a hip injury and seatbelt bruising, while a three-year-old and 19-month-old child also suffered seatbelt bruis- ing. Mr Walker said the seatbelts had saved the family's lives. Emergency Medical Services doctor Chris Lane said he was one of the first on the scene, which he described as deathly silent'' when he arrived. Dr Lane said he had been called to the same corner dozens of times in his 22 years on the Kapiti Coast, and had seen many injuries and a number of deaths. Most recently Kelly Thompson, 17, died on the corner, metres from Friday's crash, after driving across the centre line and colliding with another car on September 30. Dr Lane called for a median barrier to be installed on the stretch of road between Otaihanga and Waikanae, and said it would prevent further deaths. Wellington state highways manager Rod James said since the crash the New Zealand Transport Agency had taken immediate action to improve safety on the road. He said they closed the northbound and southbound pass- ing lanes and dropped the speed limit for the rest of the holiday period, which ended on Tuesday. We will be implementing further safety improvements on this section of the highway early in the new year, including the per- manent closure of the passing lanes between Otaihanga and Waikanae, providing a widened flush median, and extending the 80kmh speed limit through to Waikanae.'' Mr James said a barrier was planned for the stretch of road, but required a roundabout at the intersection of SH1 and Otaihanga Rd due for construction in mid-2013. Dr Lane said the temporary measures were for a permanent, serious and continuing problem on the road that could only be solved with a median barrier. Kapiti councillors also weighed in on the debate over the road, with Tony Lester saying NZTA needed to act now in improving the road. I have written to my fellow council elected representatives and our officials to start formal dialogue with NZTA to advance the safety improvements needed on this stretch of road now,'' he said. Action must be taken now to resolve this issue while at the same time continue to push ahead with the ultimate solution being the expressway.'' K Gurunathan said the crash was a reminder that urgent action was needed on the well-known black spot to improve safety. I appeal to the new transport minis- ter to direct NZTA to step on the gas to get this started,'' he said. Mr Walker said police were investigating the crash, and appealed for any witnesses to come forward.
December 29th 2011
January 9th 2012