Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Eva Kosanic, French National, Dies In Northland Car Crash (updated)

View Larger Map. The road through Broadwood

Yesterday we wrote about accident blackspots and the dangers presented by posts/poles on roadsides and how some simple measures (warning signs, speed limits, rumble strips, barriers along embankments etc) could reduce the high death and injury statistics on NZ roads. Hours later a French national was killed when the car she was driving failed to take a moderate bend, hit a tree and rolled down a bank.

Reports are that the woman is Eva Kosanic, aged 22. She hit the tree whilst travelling through Broadwood, 48km south east of Kaitaia. Police think that she was driving to Auckland to catch a flight back to Christchurch where she was an intern at Environmental Science and Research. She was due to return to France in the near future. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.

Whilst it's far too early to say why the crash happened we hope that accident investigators will be taking a close look at the road design, presence of warning signs, safety barriers and other relevant safety factors.

Update: A photo of her wrecked car is to the right, a report stated that she may have been in the car for two days before it was discovered.

Her death was the 25th on Northland roads this year, there were 23 last year.

View Larger Map
Eva wasn't the only person to be killed yesterday. Another person died in a single vehicle crash near Matamata racecourse in Waikato just before 11am.
According to the AA
  • New Zealand's Road Safety to 2010 strategy forecasts that 42 lives a year could be saved by improvements in road engineering.
  • Installing rumble strips on roads can reduce crashes by up to 27% by preventing run-off-road and head-on collisions.
  • Installing a barrier along an embankment can reduce run-off-road casualty crashes by as much as 45%.
Update 14 Dec 09
A Northland councillor has admitted that the regions roads are difficult to drive safely, so much so that he called for overseas drivers to undergo stringent testing before being allowed to use them and for visitors to be warned of the dangers:
" He suggested a one-day induction course be mandatory before overseas drivers got behind the wheel in New Zealand. Northland's roads were particularly challenging and visitors should be warned of the dangers. "They (the roads) are windy and much narrower than other places. Plus there are plenty of gravel roads they might come across and have absolutely no experience with....

...This year in Northland three foreigners have died in two separate crashes.
Swedish tourists Emelie Jenny Green and Theresia Andrea Johansson, both aged 20, died in a car crash on February 28 this year on the Brynderwyn Hills (ed. a notorious blackspot). The pair were heading south on State Highway 1 when they were going through a right-hand corner which had a 65km/h advisory speed sign in place. Their Nissan Sunny car spun a couple of times before crossing the centre-line into the path of a north-bound Holden Commodore.

In October a French tourist (ed. you mean Eva Kosanic?) was discovered by a passing motorist in a car partially submerged in a river near Broadwood, 48km south-east of Kaitaia"
It should be noted that Eva was driving on a tarmacadamed stretch of road, to suggest that her death may be attributed in some way to her being a "french tourist" and therefore inexperienced is unbelievable. Eva had been living in NZ for some time before she met her death, she wasn't a 'tourist'.

At the time of the Swedish visitors deaths Whangarei Sergeant Chris Goodall said the road had a "decided history of loss of control accident whenever it rains." and that although the road was three lanes wide there was a tendency for people to "fall off" and to lose concentration.

We suggest that rather than trying to blame the victims Northland should get on and improve its road network for everyone's benefit. The AA has already said what needs to be done, why the delay?

    See also - "Another death on New Zealand's Roads"


    1. Most of the roads in New Zealand are extremely unsafe compared to other 1st world countries. It is shocking and a shame!

    2. Yes. It's a terrible waste of life. It's deeply shocking that such a developed country isn't being a lot more pro-active about traffic and safety standards

      The NZ death and injury rates are almost three times higher than Sweden which has a twice the population of NZ (9,283,722)

      Sweden has a 'Vision Zero' policy whereby deaths and serious injuries on the roads are not tolerated and a belief that mistakes should not be punishable by death. New Zealand needs to listen hard and learn from their example because more has to be done to stop the carnage.

    3. She was one of my classmates, and believe me, she was really appreciated by everyone. We were all scattered across the world for our internships during the last 5 months and were due to come back to France for the beginning of november, in order to finish our year. Really sad when you think about, that we won't be able to share our experiences with Eva.

      I still wonder how such a terrible thing could happen, this road didn't seem so dangerous to me (according to google street view). And I don't remember Eva as a daredevil...

      We are all deeply affected by her death, we will not forget her. May she rest in peace. Our thoughts are with the family and bf...

    4. Eva was my friend..
      It was too eraly.
      Our school ENSBANA is thinking about her and her family..

    5. Eva was a student in the high school where I teach biology (lycée Masséna, Nice, France). She was a very good student and very kind as well. I am deeply affected by her death.
      jf Gandioli

    6. There has been a very large response to the sad loss of Eva, she seems to have touched the lives of many, many people. She was a very much loved and admired person. It is awful that such a wonderful life, one so full of promise and light, was cut short far too soon. Our thoughts are with you all - the E2NZ team.

    7. Adieu Eva! Tu étais une fille vraiment géniale. J'ai passé des merveilleux moments avec toi. Tu vas nous manquer. Repose en paix!


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