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