Local contractor admits involvement in fatal Saturday crash

by Kim Bowden - Dec 18, 2023

A South Island civil construction company has confirmed an employee is in hospital after being seriously injured in a fatal car crash near the junction of the Crown Range road and State Highway Six over the weekend.

Early this afternoon Paul Smith Earthmoving provided a written statement to Crux in response to questions about Saturday's car crash, which left a local butcher dead.

"We were deeply saddened to hear of the accident over the weekend, involving one of our employees," the statement says.

"Our sincere condolences go out to the families and loved ones of those affected by the accident. 

"We expect the accident will, in time, be investigated by the authorities and we will assist and cooperate when called upon. 

"We will ourselves be looking into the matter, when appropriate to do so. 

"At this point in time, we are mindful that our employee is seriously injured and is recovering in hospital, supported by his family and friends. 

"We wish to respect his privacy at this point in time as he comes to terms with his injuries and the accident."

Social media posts had already linked the company to the two-car crash, which happened just after 7.30am.

A spokesperson for WorkSafe says the organisation has been notified of the incident and is making initial enquiries.

"Part of these enquiries will be to determine if the incident was related to work."

However, the spokesperson says "WorkSafe can look into work-related vehicle incidents that occur at any time, not limited to within work hours".

Meanwhile police have confirmed to Crux they "received a report of traffic offending a short time before the vehicle collision".

Crux has received reports a driver on the highway was driving erratically and overtaking other vehicles in a dangerous manner early on Saturday morning.

Yesterday police announced they had launched a criminal investigation.

This morning they say their "enquiries remain ongoing to determine what occurred in relation to this incident".

As yet police have not laid any charges, although they said in an earlier statement to Crux "impairment tests" were undertaken as routine after the crash.

Read more: Crash victim named by Royalburn Station



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