Home > News > Archive > 1st February 2007

Fishing mates lucky escape on dry land

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Crash Scene
EMERGENCY workers and crash victims play the waiting game as live wires lie on and around the vehicle at the scene of Monday afternoon’s crash. 032071AD

By Dean Taylor

A couple of days fishing in the Coromandel may prove very expensive for a young Te Kuiti man and his two mates.

The three were on their way home from the peninsula on Monday afternoon, boat in tow, when the driver fell asleep rounding the final curve heading south to the top of Taylors Hill and crashed into a power pole. The crash caused a major power outage and properties adjacent to the site were damaged by power surges and resulting fires.
Police say the three men were lucky in a number of respects because none were injured and no other vehicle became involved.

The utility continued left and was obviously slowed considerably by the farm hedge before the head-on collision. All the same the vehicle suffered extensive damage to the passenger side and front.

Passenger Escapes
AFTER more than an hour trapped in the heat of the crashed ute, the frontseat passenger wastes no time escaping once the all clear was given by Waipa Networks staff. 032071BD

Overhead lines fell onto the vehicle and around the crash site, necessitating closure of the southbound lane to provide a safety barrier for emergency workers. The crash victims and emergency workers played the waiting game for about an hour until Waipa Networks staff made sure the area was safe.

Meanwhile southbound traffic was detoured onto Te Rahu Road until the site was cleared, about an hour-and-a-half after the 2.20pm crash.

Police say if the driver had veered across the two oncoming lanes, not had so much speed wiped off by the hedge or had flipped into the paddock the human cost could have been much greater. They say that stretch of road has shown many times it can be dangerous to motorists safety, and even fatal.

Police say the message from the crash is simple: Don’t drive tired. Recommended procedures for long trips, especially after tiring activities, are stopping for regular breaks for food, drink and rests and sharing the driving responsibilities.