Two Australians have been killed in New Zealand after their rental car crossed onto the wrong side of the road and collided head-on with a truck.
A pair of Australian tourists have lost their lives, after a tragic head-on collision on Canterbury’s Main South Road, Bankside, on Sunday morning (local time).
The two women, who are believed to have been in their 50s, had only just arrived in the country when they veered onto the wrong side of the road in their rental car and collided with a TNL Freighting truck.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirmed to Travel Weekly that it is providing consular assistance to the families of “two Australian women who died in New Zealand”.
Owing to the Department’s privacy obligations, it was unable to provide further comment.
According to local media reports, the crash sent the truck hurtling across the road, through a fence, and onto its side on nearby railway tracks. Both women died at the scene.
The crash reportedly cut power to eight properties and closed the road and railway tracks for several hours. The truck driver was reportedly “shaken” but uninjured.
Police and the Serious Crash Unit were called to the crash around 8:50am, where seven people had also received moderate injuries from the crash, including four in another car that was hit by debris, local media reported. Ambulance staff treated people at the scene for minor bruising, but none required hospital treatment.
Speaking to New Zealand news outlet, Stuff, police acting area commander for rural Canterbury, Natasha Rodley, said it was uncertain what had caused the crash.
“We are not certain if speed was involved but that will be part of our investigation,” Rodley said.
“The serious crash unit didn’t give an indication of that and there is nothing from witnesses to indicate speed played a part.”
A police spokesman said officers would look at fatigue as a possible cause of the crash.
The incident comes days after Australian residents Brett Alexander Lentfer, 62, and James Harry Spaile, 44, tragically lost their lives after falling hundreds of metres while climbing on New Zealand’s The Remarkables mountain range.