Ice plays havoc on Queenstown roads

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Heavy frost and icy roads caused a bout of car crashes on Crown Range and Kawarau Gorge Rds on Friday night, Queenstown police say. 

Despite the bad conditions, Queenstown police acting sergeant Phill Hamlin says drivers are adhering to the conditions.
 
“People know it’s cold and as a result the roads are going to be icy. 

“Most of the accidents we have seen are those who have come unstuck through no fault of the driver.”
 
Hamlin says speeding or drinking weren’t contributing factors.
 
A Kiwi driver who skidded on ice around a corner and then overcompensated when correcting his car ran into a bank on Friday evening, Hamlin says.
 
The crash which occurred on the Crown Range Road at 4.40pm left the 53-year-old man and his daughter with whiplash and cuts and bruises.
 
Forty minutes later a 23-year-old Queenstown woman hit a “bloody icy” patch along Kawarau Gorge Rd and drove into a bank, Hamlin says.
 
The crash occurred three kilometres from Queenstown and the woman was taken to Lakes District Hospital where she was observed overnight for suspected neck injuries.
 
Early on Saturday morning three young men who came from Wanaka to Queenstown to get McDonald’s skidded on ice and lost control, Hamlin says. 

The 17-year-old Wanaka man also skidded on ice and crashed into a bank at 2.30am.
 
“It’s pretty silly to drive on a horrible winter’s morning solely for McDonald’s, but they are young men probably full of bravado,” Hamlin says.
 
Damage to the car was moderate and no injuries were recorded.
 
However, Hamlin is warning drivers to watch their following distances.
 
“Following distances have been ridiculous; people know the roads are frosty but they are still following way to close.”