Sunday, November 4, 2012

New Zealand: Canadian Woman, 46, Killed in Waikato, Canadian Driver Hospitalized

New Zealand police in Waikato are working feverishly with INTERPOL in an effort to locate the family of a Canadian woman, 46, who was killed in a collision with a truck on Thursday (October 31).

The Canadian woman was riding as a passenger in a compact sedan driven by another Canadian man who survived the accident, but was rushed to Auckland Hospital when he failed to yield to the truck driver, who had the right-of-way.

The accident occurred during clear weather and dry road conditions at 1340 local time on Thursday.

COMMENT: As many of our readers know all too well, I have raised the hazards of foreigners (particularly for those familiar with driving in right-hand drive nations) driving in New Zealand on numerous occasions. Having driven in New Zealand myself I would personally attest to this statement. 

In February, Canadian tourist Michele Smith died after the campervan her husband was driving and a truck collided at the notorious Waitomo Caves Rd-SH3 intersection. 

In September, American Kenneth Stithem was killed at the same intersection during a horrific collision with a cement truck. 

Sadly, Mr, Stithem was honeymooning with his wife, Kirsten Steinke, who also suffered critical injuries in the collision.
At a minimum, I strongly urge that those coming from right-hand drive nations take a bus or shuttle to their New Zealand destination FIRST, thereby eliminating the need to be catapulted into driving in a total different pattern under the influence of jet-lag.

Once they have reached their in-country destination, they can rent a car when well-rested and get comfortable with the driving peculiarities in NZ, which are among some of the most unpredictable in the world.