Trapped girl’s mum gives thanks


‘‘We want to thank every­one who helped free dad and the chil­dren...’’

The mother of a young girl trapped in a truck cab has thanked those who came to her chil­dren’s aid.

The 8-year-old was one of three chil­dren in a truck driven by her grand­fa­ther that crashed into a power pole, spark­ing a scrub fire on a re­mote sec­tion of the Napier-Taupo¯ high­way just be­fore mid­night on Tues­day.

The girl’s legs were trapped un­der the dash­board of the cab af­ter the im­pact of the smash top­pled a power pole onto the 40 tonne frozen meat truck.

By the time the first emergency ser­vices ar­rived from Taupo¯ , passersby had freed the other two chil­dren from the truck, along with their grand­fa­ther, who had gone back to help the young girl.

Fire­fight­ers used cut­ting equip­ment to free the girl while other fire­fight­ers pro­tected the truck from the fire burn­ing up the hill­side, Taupo¯ Fire Bri­gade’s Sean McAv­inue said.

Ru­ral fire au­thor­i­ties al­lowed the blaze to burn overnight as it was too dan­ger­ous to bat­tle the flames in dark­ness.

The girl was flown to Hawke’s Bay Hos­pi­tal, where she is in a sta­ble con­di­tion.

The mother, who wanted to re­main anony­mous, said she was very grate­ful.

‘‘We want to thank every­one who helped free dad and the chil­dren, and get them out of the truck – they did a won­der­ful job and we are very grate­ful.’’

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