Rugby play­ers to the res­cue

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

A group of Porirua touch rugby play­ers helped out at the scene of a car crash on Jan­uary 25.

An out- of- con­trol four- wheeldrive and car­a­van ca­reered across the high­way be­tween traf­fic and into a ditch near Shan­non.

Con­sta­ble Char­lie Rudd said the north­bound Nis­san Terrano and car­a­van crossed the cen­tre line in a gap be­tween south­bound ve­hi­cles on State High­way 57.

‘‘It could have been worse. It could have hit any car on the way back. The road’s pretty busy,’’ he said.

The Porirua rugby play­ers were re­turn­ing from a tour­na­ment in Palmer­ston North. They were in the south­bound line of ve­hi­cles and saw the ac­ci­dent un­fold in front of them about 5pm.

North­ern United player Da­ley Harper was in the front pas­sen­ger seat and said it was a crazy ex­pe­ri­ence see­ing the car­a­van and car hur­tle to­wards them.

He said the car and car­a­van crossed the cen­tre line about two sec­onds, or 100 me­tres, in front of them as they were trav­el­ling at about 100kmh.

‘‘They were tak­ing up both sides of the road, so they were slid­ing side­ways,’’ Harper said. ‘‘Then the car­a­van just whipped around in front of us and went into the ditch.

The car ended on its left side in the ditch.

‘‘We couldn’t open the driver’s door. It must have been jammed. So one of the boys jumped through the back door, got in­side and we ended up get­ting the driver’s door open and pulling the man out.

‘‘ We asked who else was in there and he said his wife.’’

She was un­con­scious, and with wa­ter com­ing through the car from the ditch and the car smok­ing they pulled her out as quickly as they could.

‘‘ We were just freaking out, hop­ing she wasn’t dead.’’

They lay the woman on the side of the road with a pil­low un­der her head un­til the medics came. Harper said she had cuts on her head and arms, prob­a­bly from the wind­screen shat­ter­ing.

‘‘Luck­ily there was no lamp-post around there. They would have been gone.’’

An off-duty nurse and po­lice­man helped at­tend to the cou­ple be­fore paramedics ar­rived, said Mr Rudd.

He said the Para­pa­raumu cou­ple, in their 70s, were un­in­jured, but the two-berth 1960s car­a­van was a write-off and their ve­hi­cle was also badly dam­aged.

The con­tents of the car­a­van were strewn around the scene, and the car­a­van fell to pieces when it was loaded on to a trailer.

Mr Rudd said the cou­ple were head­ing off on hol­i­day to Palmer­ston North when the man lost con­trol go­ing down Laws Hill, about 5km south of Shan­non.

‘‘He tried to pick up a bit of pace to get con­trol, and then the car­a­van came around and the back fish­tailed and flung him to the right.

He crossed the cen­tre-line and ran into a ditch.

‘‘It was lucky be­cause he went in be­tween two ve­hi­cles.’’

Mr Rudd praised the ac­tions of the touch play­ers.

‘‘A lot of peo­ple saw what they did and clapped them out when they left.’’

Sorry sight: A scene from the crash

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