A 21-year-old man has died in a road crash at the seawall in Nikao in the early hours of yesterday morning. The deceased suffered severe head injuries and died on the spot of the accident.
This is the second death on the road this year and both occurred around the seawall area.
Cook Islands Police Service spokesman Trevor Pitt said the man received severe head injuries as a result of a motorbike crash on the straight roadway of the seawall.
He had been driving toward Black Rock from Avarua and was not wearing a helmet, Pitt said.
“The fatality is the second this year following a January crash near the seawall, which claimed the life of a motorcyclist,” Pitt said.
He did not disclose the cause of the accident. However, Pitt said police were again stressing to motorbike drivers the importance of not drinking and driving, and keeping the speed down, particularly in the vicinity of what is Rarotonga’s most dangerous stretch of road.
“The police have previously highlighted the statistical data on crashes, including the concentrated number of fatalities, which have occurred between Nikao/Panama and Pokoinu.”
Earlier, police revealed that about 87 per cent of road fatalities recorded in the Cook Islands are alcohol-related.
According to police data and other information gathered over the past 10 years, alcohol played a central role in the country’s road fatalities as well as injuries sustained as a result of motor-vehicle crashes.
Of the 51 road fatalities recorded since 2008, 46 occurred on Rarotonga with nearly 87 per cent of those being alcohol-related, police said in a statement.
On average, it said about half of all crash victims treated at Rarotonga Hospital involved alcohol. And according to Ministry of Health figures, drivers between 16 to 24 years old continue to represent the largest group of those requiring medical treatment.
“A vast majority of the fatality victims were male: 72 per cent of those on Rarotonga (82 per cent nationally). The largest group among the 45 lives claimed on Rarotonga were the 16-25 year-olds – representing 49 per cent of the total,” the statement said.
“Local drivers mostly have been lost on our roads although foreign nationals and visiting locals represent a significant share at 44 per cent of Rarotonga’s fatalities since 2008.”