Crashes and traffic incidents this month were a significant part of
duties carried out by local Police. Six crashes occurred along State
Highway One between Flag Swamp and Pigeon Flat Overbridge.
A fatal crash on Friday the 13th of April 2007 occurred at the Merton
Hill, two people died as a result. The State Highway was closed for
several hours while Emergency Services and Police carried out their
Emergency services from Waikouaiti, Waitati, and Dunedin attended. The
Waikouaiti Volunteer Brigade did an exceptional job given the enormity
they were confronted with.
They are a credit to our community and should be recognised for the
good work they do. Like Police and St John's Ambulance, the Volunteer
Fire Brigade attend many incidents, helping countless amounts of
people in need, Police recognise their commitment and service to the
Other crashes this month included a four wheel drive which rolled onto
its side at Waitati, as a result of a diesel spill in the south bound
lane of State Highway One which began at about Hawksbury and continued
into Dunedin. The spill occurred on Anzac Day morning in poor weather
conditions and many motorists had difficulty maintaining control of
That afternoon another crash occurred, on this occasion at Flag Swamp
near Jefferis Road. A van carrying five intellectually handicapped
people from Balclutha rolled. Thankfully no-one received any
significant injuries. Inquiries are continuing regarding this.
In anumber of the crashes which have occurred, it has been sheer luck
that no-one was seriously injured or killed. The winter months are
here and road conditions on occasion may be treacherous, please
remember to take care and drive to the conditions.
Ten traffic incidents were also reported, the incidents included tired
drivers weaving and crossing the centre line, drivers tailgating,
passengers throwing bottles onto the roadway, and stock finding its
way onto the State Highway, these examples represent a small
percentage of hazards that confront other road users travelling within
During the evening of the 9th of April 2007, eight youths from
Palmerston, Dunback, Waikouaiti, and Karitane stole several cars from
Palmerston, Balclutha, Dunedin, and Waikouaiti. The young people went
on a crime spree which included car thefts, unlawfully getting into
stolen vehicles, attempted car thefts, wilful damage, driving
offences, and theft. The children were aged between twelve and fifteen
years; all will be referred to Youth Aid with the main offender likely
to be prosecuted.
Theft from rural properties features again this month with 50 litres
of diesel being taken from one property and a concrete mixer from
another. Rural addresses will often be seen by criminals as a soft
target due to their isolation. Farmers, don't let your isolation lull
you into a sense of security, make sure you lock equipment away and
report stolen property to Police as soon as it is noticed missing.
Two addresses along Henry Street, Waikouaiti, have reported mail going
missing from their letterboxes in the last couple of months. It would
appear there is a mail thief living in the vicinity. If you have
noticed your mail going missing lately and live in that part of town,
please contact the Waikouaiti Police. Police have identified the
culprit and that person will be dealt will by Dunedin Youth Aid.
Finally, during the evening of the 25th of April 2007, a domestic
dispute occurred between a mother and her thirteen year old son which
concluded outside the local Police Station. As a result the thirteen
year old boy was transported by Police to CYF's care in Oamaru.
Remember, be vigilant when travelling and always drive to the
conditions. If you require information regarding road conditions
telephone Transit New Zealand on 0800 44 44 49.
If you see anything suspicious or if you wish to speak to the Police
regarding any other matter you can contact us on 03 465 9127 or 027
436 9302. In emergencies dial 111. Until next month, take care.
by Constable Jon-Paul Tremain
New Zealand Police, Waikouaiti