Holiday road toll closes with 12 deaths

The holiday road toll for Christmas and the New Year has officially ended with 12 deaths in the 13-day period.

The count started at 4pm on December 22 and ended at 6am on Wednesday.

On December 23 an Auckland taxi driver was the first casualty when his car was ploughed into by a Mercedes on Symonds St.

On the same day a car flipped in Maungatāpere, Northland, killing one and injuring three more.

Four people were killed on Christmas Eve in four separate crashes - one in Hanmer Springs, one in Hawke's Bay and one in Rotorua. The fourth, a motorcyclist in Buller, does not count towards the official holiday road toll as the crash happened on private property.

On Boxing Day a high-speed crash claimed two more lives in Canterbury, with such force it split one car completely in two.

A man died on December 29 after his vehicle went down a bank into the Ōkuru River in Haast, but this death did not contribute to the holiday road toll as it counted instead as a drowning.

On December 30 a motorist died after their truck rolled in Waiharara, Northland.

The following day, one person died in Whāngārei after their car hit a fence, and in a separate incident in the Tasman district another person was killed.

This brought the official 2017 road toll to 380 - but the holiday road toll wasn't over yet.

A crash on Maungatapu bridge left a 69-year-old dead - the first road death of 2018, happening only two hours past midnight.

Another person was killed in Masterton, bringing the holiday road tol to a close at 12.

Last year there were 19 deaths from 15 fatal crashes and another 313 reported injury crashes.

It is not yet clear how many injuries were reported over the same period this year.

The 2018 road toll currently stands at two.