© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2018

Resident claims road where three died in a car crash has changed her opinion on police pursuits

Isaiah Smiler
police car 1
The nearby resident to a horror car accident in Nelson has completely turned her perspective on Police chases. Alice Webb-Liddall

A resident living near the scene of a Nelson car crash says the road is too dangerous for police chases.

Three people died in a head on collision on State Highway 6 just south of Nelson early on Sunday morning.

A car being chased by police hit an oncoming vehicle at speeds of around 130 kilometres an hour killing an innocent motorist on the other side of the road. She was 53-year-old Carmen Yanko.   

25-year-old Johnathan Tairakena the driver of the car being pursued by police, and his passenger 33-year-old Phillip Jamie Stretch were both killed in the accident. 

Nearby resident Adrienne Matthews says the accident, which happened near Hope, was just two kilometres down the road from her house on a stretch of road where visibility can be a problem.  

"There is also, where this accident occured a hill. As you drive along towards that hill you can't see anything coming up towards you and likewise if your going the other way, you can't see anything coming over the top."

She adds there has been a lot of work done on the narrow road since the Kaikoura earthquakes.

"Right where this accident occured there recently has been big side barriers put on the side. There was always the danger that vehicles could go off the side."

Due to new suburbs in the area being established, the last five years has seen an increase of the road's use by heavy vehicles.

"The road's surface has broken up very badly due to the increase use. It's not even in places, it's been patched here and there."

The family of 53-year-old woman Carmen Yanko, who died in the crash, are devastated at the loss of their mother.

"We as Carmen's children are heartbroken and reeling from this senseless tragedy that occured."

Police investigations into the crash are on-going.

While Adrienne Matthews says she has always been on board with the Police catching criminals, the experience of the crash has completely changed her perspective on police pursuits. 

"After seeing the carnage that can happens in such a short space of time, and innocent people being killed so quickly, I've really had to change my opinion."