Kurow rugby club in shock after crash
Two men were left fighting for their lives after a serious car crash on Hakataramea Valley Rd on Saturday.
When the Waitaki Herald went to print on Monday, six people associated with the Kurow Rugby Club had been injured when they were thrown from a 1998 silver Toyota Landcruiser which veered off the road and rolled several times just before midnight on Saturday. None of the occupants were wearing seatbelts.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but said it appeared the 39- year- old driver had lost control of the vehicle as he was going around a moderate bend on the country road. A police spokesperson said alcohol and speed could not be ruled out.
As at Monday, two men, 23 and 25, were in a critical condition in the intensive care units at Dunedin and Christchurch hospitals.
The driver had a fractured skull, and was in a stable condition in Dunedin Hospital.
A man and a woman, both 22, were in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital; the man was originally sent to Timaru Hospital but transferred by helicopter to Christchurch as his condition worsened. .
A sixth person, a 38-year-old man, was due to be discharged from Timaru Hospital on Monday. Kurow premier rugby team coach Kevin Malcolm said it was a tough time for the club and the community.
‘‘Our thoughts are with the families. Everyone in the community is jumping on board to help out and support where they can.’’
The club is working closely with the police, but Malcolm said they would try to keep as much normality as possible.
‘‘It will be practice as usual on Tuesday.’’ North Otago Rugby Union chief executive Colin Jackson said the crash had hit the union really hard.
It was a small, tight- knit union, he said.
‘‘We are just praying that they will be okay.’’ It was the Kurow rugby club day on Saturday.
Westpac Helicopter crew member Wayne Ledgerwood attended the crash.
He described the scene as ‘‘chaotic’’ with fire, ambulace and police trying to sort out the mess.
His crew took two people, including a 22-year-old woman, to Christchurch Hospital just after 1am, and retrieved a third person from Timaru Hospital later that morning.