Crash land­ing in store

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE - By RHI­AN­NON HOR­RELL

COM­MU­NI­TIES pull gether in times of need.

This is un­doubt­edly true for the op­er­a­tors of a Pt Che­va­lier cor­ner dairy that was ex­ten­sively dam­aged af­ter a car ploughed into it on Au­gust 31.

The crash hap­pened at about 8.10pm when a car failed to ne­go­ti­ate a bend on Pt Che­va­lier Rd.

A po­lice of­fi­cer was at the scene on the cor­ner of Pt Che­va­lier and Ray­mond roads, only min­utes later.

Fire Ser­vice north­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tions cen­tre spokes­woman Me­gan Ruru says fire­fight­ers were called to as­sist the woman, who was trapped. Crews also as­sessed if the build­ing was un­sta­ble.

Avon­dale fire se­nior sta­tion of­fi­cer Esi­tone Pauga says when fire­fight­ers ar­rived they found the car ‘‘ac­tu­ally hold­ing up the build­ing’’.

‘‘It took out the main pil­lar and that pil­lar was lean­ing against the car.’’

Mr Pauga says their role at the scene was com­plex but the three emer­gency ser­vices worked well to­gether.

‘‘It was com­pli­cated by the fact that there was a big build­ing sit­ting on top of the car,’’ he says.

‘‘We had to deal with sta­bil­is­ing the build­ing and get­ting her free while she was trapped.

‘‘It took us a while to do the ex­tra­ca­tion but that was mainly due to safety,’’ Mr Pauga says.

The woman was the sole oc­cu­pant of the car and was trapped by both legs.

She re­mains in Auck­land Hospi­tal in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

Po­lice were yet to speak with her as this edition went to press.

Point Su­perette op­er­a­tor Lisa Lin says cus­tomers have been call­ing in with flow­ers and bak­ing.

She says 10 to 15 peo­ple helped her board up the shop af­ter the crash and is grate-

to- ful for the sup­port.

The shop is still open and re­pairs will take time.

De­bris is strewn around and an in­ter­nal con­crete pil­lar has been dis­lodged.

‘‘I closed the shop and then it hap­pened about six min­utes later.

‘‘I was sit­ting inside. I heard a boom,’’ Ms Lin says.

She es­caped out the rear of the shop.

‘‘I was call­ing my son and hus­band. We went out to the front of the shop. I looked and saw one lady sit­ting in her car.’’

Ms Lin says the crash has caused ma­jor dam­age to her in­sured busi­ness. ‘‘Two fridges are bro­ken.’’ She says her hus­band was up un­til 3am the fol­low­ing day clean­ing up de­bris.

‘‘On Satur­day and Sun­day we were clean­ing, clean­ing.’’

Ms Lin and her hus­band have been run­ning the shop for 10 years and she says this is the fourth time a car has crashed on the stretch of road near her busi­ness.

Bal­moral traf­fic unit Act­ing Sergeant Bren­don Muir says of­fi­cers have spo­ken to two in­de­pen­dent wit­nesses.

‘‘But po­lice are also keen to hear from any other wit­nesses,’’ Mr Muir says.

He says the woman in the car re­ceived lower body and leg in­juries.

Mr Muir said on Mon­day she was in a high de­pen­dency unit await­ing surgery.

A blood test has been taken from the woman for po­lice pur­poses.

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Crash dam­age: Avon­dale fire se­nior sta­tion of­fi­cer Esi­tone Pauga says re­mov­ing a car from inside the Point Su­perette in Pt Che­va­lier was ‘‘com­plex’’.

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