SINGAPORE: Two Singaporeans died in a road accident near Auckland, New Zealand on 15 June.
Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry (MFA) confirmed the incident on Saturday, in response to queries from Channel NewsAsia.
Channel NewsAsia understands the victims are newlyweds on their honeymoon.
The news of the double fatalities was reported across the New Zealand media.
New Zealand police said the accident took place around 1.20pm on Friday, at Mangatawhiri near Auckland.
It resulted in local authorities putting in place road diversions for some five hours.
The road in question — a stretch of highway on State Highway 2 heading towards the Coramendal — is a popular weekend retreat.
The two Singaporeans were in a car when they collided with a van.
The two people in the van escaped unhurt.
Reports said the road has been known as the area’s, Waikato’s, blackest spot.
New Zealand media said there have been at least 30 accidents along that stretch since 2001.
The speed limit along the road was also recently reduced from 100 to 90
kilometers per hour.
Director of Road & Traffic Education Centre in New Zealand Tony Williams said: "The road is not that old, it’s a good service, but we’re still having problems down there. Looking at the photo in the papers today, there was a camper van, so whether someone from overseas was distracted while they had been driving, looking at the countryside, and haven’t noticed either someone turning in front of him or coming out in front of him and the incident happened very quickly."
One user — Joseph Tan — on Channel NewsAsia’s Facebook page also pointed out that driving conditions in New Zealand are very different from Singapore — especially in the beginning of winter when roads are more icy.
Tony Williams said: "The countryside is a lot different to what Singapore is, and they possibly wouldn’t be aware of all the hazards out on the road and because of the long distances, whether they’re going from Auckland going through to Coramendal, it’s not a long drive, but it’s two or three hours."
Channel NewsAsia understands that the couple’s family received news of the accident at around 11.30 on Friday night.
They have since gone to New Zealand to claim the bodies.
MFA said it’ll continue to provide all necessary assistance to the families of the victims.
New Zealand’s Serious Crash Unit is also investigating the incident.
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