Lucky to escape with life
A driver lost her life’s possessions but was lucky to escape alive when a truck knocked her into Taupo Stream in Plimmerton last Tuesday.
Christchurch woman Melissa Holdem, 22, was travelling north at 2pm when a truck cut across her lane on State Highway 1, 50 metres north of the Palmers roundabout in Plimmerton.
Ms Holdem was in the left-hand lane when the truck moved across from the right-hand lane and flipped her 2004 Mazda four metres across a grass bank, through a chain-link fence and into the stream two metres down.
Witnesses were unable to free Ms Holdem, and she remained trapped upsidedown in the car until firefighters freed her at about 2.20pm.
She escaped with minor bruising. Her car was written off.
Ms Holdem was travelling to Auckland to start a new job in a trucking company. Her luggage, laptop, camera and valuables were all in the car.
‘‘I’m gutted, I’m absolutely gutted,’’ she said.
Despite the loss of her car and possessions, Ms Holdem said she was lucky to walk away from the crash. ‘‘Someone’s watching over me.’’ Ms Holdem was involved in an eerily similar crash on Friday, April 13 this year – an Australian tourist unfamiliar with New Zealand road rules T- boned her at a roundabout in Christchurch.
Porirua constable Wolfgang Haist said the crash would have been much worse had Ms Holdem been travelling over 50kmh, and if the creek water had been deeper than 30 centimetres.
The truck driver did not stop after the accident and was possibly unaware it had happened, Kapiti-Mana area commander inspector John Price said.
The truck driver had been tracked down after the crash and will be interviewed by police, Mr Price said.
‘‘If it’s proven the driver did not take due care in changing lanes then we’d be looking at action against him.’’
Lucky escape: A truck knocked this Mazda Atenza Sport 2004 into Taupo Stream in Plimmerton last Tuesday, before driving away from the crash. The car’s driver was trapped for 20 minutes but unhurt.
Survivor: Driver Melissa Holdem had been travelling to Auckland to start a new job.