The Dominion Post

Boy-racers group ‘traumatise­d’

- Damian George

Members of Wellington’s boy-racing community remain ‘‘traumatise­d’’ after they were targeted by a man in a road roller in Upper Hutt.

The group were gathered at an industrial site in Silverstre­am when a man drove the road roller into their vehicles, causing ‘‘chaos’’ as people tried to escape the roller’s path.

One person broke a leg in four places when he was run over by one of the fleeing drivers. At a meet-up in Wellington’s Lyall Bay last night, organised so people could ‘‘pay their respects’’ to those caught up in the Upper Hutt incident, Bryan Seddon recalled seeing his friend writhing in pain.

‘‘It was traumatisi­ng, just seeing him in agony just crying and in pain, just wanting it [the pain] to stop but it can’t.’’

A week on from the incident, people were still traumatise­d, he said.

That was why the meet-up, which attracted more than 100 participan­ts to The Warehouse car park in Lyall Bay, was organised.

‘‘It’s just to pay our respects, and probably give people an opportunit­y to talk to other people who might have been involved, because it’s not something you can just go and talk to anybody about.

‘‘It’s not exactly something that’s easy to get over. I mean, [there were] people just screaming [in] sheer fear.’’

The group had originally planned to meet at the site of the incident, but later decided to meet in Paraparaum­u and drive to Lyall Bay instead.

Josh Grant, who organised the event, said that decision was made in consultati­on Bryan Seddon

with police.

Grant was not involved in the Silverstre­am incident but said the scene looked like chaos. ‘‘I have no words really. I don’t know how to explain what happened and what was going through this guy’s head to do all this kind of stuff.’’

The driver had probably caused up to $40,000 in damage to cars, he said.

Property owner Richard Burrell said after the incident that car meet-ups had been an ongoing problem for several months, and usually drew large crowds.

The groups left rubbish and broken bottles on the ground and damaged industrial machinery, while diesel had been taken from some work vehicles.

The group denies taking diesel from any of the vehicles. They also deny they were on private property.

Seddon said the trauma caused by the incident was ‘‘way too much for the normal person to handle, especially the ones that were in the cars and close to the front of that roller’’.

A couple of police officers were at last night’s meet-up but there were no incidents.

A 47-year-old man appeared in Hutt Valley District Court following the incident. He was charged with drink-driving and interferin­g with motor vehicles with reckless disregard for persons and property.

He will reappear in court on August 15.

‘‘I mean, [there were] people just screaming [in] sheer fear.

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