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Crashes kill two in Wairarapa and Bay of Plenty

Radio New Zealand Radio New Zealand 21/05/2016

A helicopter lifted three people to safety from the roof of a car that plunged into a river in Wairarapa early this morning, killing one person.

Police said a 35-year-old man from Hutt Valley died in the crash.

Masterton acting sergeant Tony Matheson said the car was going along Paierau Road towards Masterton and failed to take a turn onto a bridge.

It crashed through a fence and plunged into the Waipoua River.

Rescue helicopters, police and fire officers were alerted by a local farmer at about 4am.

The three survivors, two women and a man, were stranded on the roof of their car in the flooded river for about about two hours before being rescued.

They were taken to Wairarapa Hospital in Masterton, where they are being treated for hypothermia and fractures. All three are in a stable condition.

The car is being winched out by a crane after it was swept about 50m downstream.

Police said it appears the car was speeding before the crash.

Emergency services are still at the scene and roads around Paierau Road at Matahiwi are closed. Drivers are urged to avoid the area.

Meanwhile, one person is dead and two others have been airlifted to Waikato Hospital after a crash on State Highway Two near Pukehina in western Bay of Plenty this morning.

Police said one of the injured is in a critical condition and the other has minor injuries.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating and no other vehicles were involved.

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