Lucky to es­cape with life

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By AN­DREA O’NEIL

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.

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