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Driver nabbed on expressway with kids at 175km-h


As the Easter holiday break began – ending with seven deaths on New Zealand roads – a Levin man was clocked at 175km/h on the expressway.

He was not only driving at a potentially fatal speed, but also carrying four children aged under 8.

“If he had crashed at that speed the consequences would have been horrendous,” says the Ōtaki police chief, sergeant Phil Grimstone. “We might well have ended with five more fatalities and another family grieving.”

The 33-year-old man was driving south near Te Horo about 12.40pm on Good Friday. He has been charged with driving at a dangerous speed.

Meanwhile, Phil says his team, in conjunction with Wellington region police, continue to patrol the old main highway area around Peka Peka and Te Horo. It has become a favoured location for young drivers, mostly arriving from other out of town, to do burn-outs.

There were four significant arrests made in Ōtaki in the past month.

• Police went to a Manuka Street, Ōtaki Beach, address on March 21 and executed a search warrant. They found cannabis and methamphetamine. As a result, a 35-year-old male has been charged with possession of cannabis for supply, and a 24-year-old female charged with possession of cannabis and methamphetamine. Several cannabis plants and meth were seized.

• On March 23 about 6pm police were called to a fire at the old Ōtaki children’s health camp. Two male teenagers had been found by local firefighters in scrub near the camp. The two were surrounded by fire and dense blackberry, and unable to find a way out. After being rescued by the firefighters, the two 17-year-olds were arrested by police. One required medical assistance. It’s alleged they were playing with a lighter in the scrub, resulting in several small fires that escalated to the extent that a large area of scrub was burnt, and the resources of several brigades from around the region being called on to quell the fire during the night and dampen hot spots throughout the next day. The two teenagers were referred to Youth Services.

•  On March 24 a 54-year-old man was assaulted with an iron bar on Tasman Road. The victim sustained fractures and other injuries in the assault, and his vehicle was damaged. A 43-year-old male was arrested and has been charged with wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm (GBH), and intentional damage to a vehicle. The two men were known to each other.

• About midnight on April 1 a 34-year-old male was seen loitering on a private property at Ōtaki Beach. The property owner has a protection order filed against the man after family harm incidents. An associate of the owner saw the man and confronted him. In the ensuing altercation, the associate was stabbed in the head with a knife. The alleged offender was charged with grievous bodily harm. Police opposed bail and he remains in custody pending trial.




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Driver nabbed on expressway with kids at 175km-h


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