Kurow rugby club in shock af­ter crash

Waitaki Herald - - NEWS - By AU­DREY MALONE

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.

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