Man holds injured woman after horror crash

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 16/11/2012
WRECK: One person was killed and four others injured, including two children, in a crash near Ngaruwahia.
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

WRECK: One person was killed and four others injured, including two children, in a crash near Ngaruwahia.

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A man held a seriously injured woman while his children were told to be brave after the car they were travelling in ploughed through a fence into a Waikato back yard.

Two women, a man and two children were in the car. The female driver died at the scene last night. The second woman remains in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital.

The young school-age children suffered minor to moderate injuries while their father escaped unharmed.

It is understood one of the two women in the car is the children's mother.

Taupiri resident Kristina Manning was watching television when she heard a "big noise" about 6.15pm on Old Taupiri Rd.

"I walked around the corner and saw the car upside down in the neighbour's yard. It wasn't good."

She went outside to find a man covered in blood with a woman on his lap, not responding. The car was upside down on a trampoline.

"He was down on the ground trying to pull the female out onto his lap. Both had blood everywhere."

The children also got out of the car after receiving what police described as minor-to-moderate injuries.

Ms Manning consoled the children before they were taken away by ambulance to hospital.

"They had their seatbelts on and there was a tiny wee dog called Cookie that was thrown from the car. It was very shaken, but still alive.

"The kids were really shaken up and worried about their mother. One had done something to his head and was screaming in pain.

"I told them to be brave and you're doing well and put a sleeping bag around them and tried to keep them calm."

Sergeant Andrew Brosnan, of Waikato highway patrol, said the Serious Crash Unit was investigating whether speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.

As emergency services worked to clear the wreckage, Waikato District road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman said far too many rural people were dying on rural roads.

"The crash is currently being investigated by the Waikato Serious Crash Unit and initial indications are a northbound Subaru Impreza has failed to negotiate a bend and smashed through a fence."

It was the second serious crash to occur in the Waikato in 24 hours following one on Ohaupo Rd Wednesday night and Mr Tooman said drivers needed to respect the road no matter if they are on a major highway, city street or rural road.

"Last year 24 people died in 19 crashes in rural locations out of a total 51 deaths in 44 crashes, too many people are dying on our rural roading network.

"After [last night's] crash there is now one woman who won't be at the table enjoying Christmas with her family next month.

"It's happening too often and we need a whole of community solution."

Mr Tooman said the Waikato had the country's highest road toll this year, at 38.

He said the public needed to work with police to prevent further road trauma.

"It's not just the job of police to address the issue, blue and red flashing lights can't be seen everywhere and its up to friends and families to ensure their loved ones are fit to drive - that they are fit to survive, that is the only way we can ensure safer journeys for all road users."

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* Correction: An earlier version of this story incorectly reported that the man was holding the dying mother of the children. The identity of the woman who died is not yet known.

- Waikato Times

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