Motueka crash first fatal of 2016

Motueka crash first fatal of 2016

A van driver has become the first road victim of 2016 after a crash in the early hours near Motueka.

He has been named as Benjamin Cecil Rhodes, a 37-year-old from Motueka.

Police say two others in the van were taken to hospital with moderate to serious injuries after the crash soon after 2am near the bridge that crosses the Motueka River. They are now in Nelson Hospital in a stable condition.

Senior Sergeant Blair Hall says it appears speed was a factor in the crash.

The death takes the holiday period road toll to seven.

The annual road toll for 2015 was 321 - 27 higher than a year earlier.