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Ōtaki head-on crash: Second person in stolen ute dies in hospital

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A second person has died after a head-on crash involving a stolen ute in Ōtaki.

The driver of the ute died at the scene of the April 26 incident. He was 16-year-old Reihana Horohau Hawea.

Two passengers in the vehicle were taken to hospital. One died from their injuries at Wellington Hospital on Friday. The third remains in hospital in a serious condition.

The two people in the car the stolen ute crashed into remained in hospital.

Police were still investigating the incident. They asked anyone who had more information about the incident to call 105, or offer tips at 105.police.govt.nz and reference file number 240427/9204.

Police were particularly interested in any details about the movements of a Ford Courier ute, registration WS3093.

Just after 10.30pm on April 26, a stolen ute wanted in connection with a robbery in Ōtaki earlier that evening was signalled to stop by police just south of Levin.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Clifford Brown confirmed a pursuit was initiated but was abandoned within several minutes due to the manner of driving, and the ute continued at speed heading south on State Highway 1.

At about 10.50pm the vehicle was observed turning back onto State Highway 1 from Waikanae, heading north in the southbound lane.

The ute collided head-on with another vehicle just south of Lawlors Rd at about 11.05pm.

Hato Hone St John was alerted at 11.05pm and dispatched six ambulances, two managers, one rapid response unit, and one helicopter to the scene.



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