Rescued from floodwaters, stranded driver thanks kind strangers

Megan du Plessis' Mini Cooper marooned at the Plimmerton roundabout on Tuesday morning.
BERNADETTE COURTNEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Megan du Plessis' Mini Cooper marooned at the Plimmerton roundabout on Tuesday morning.

Floodwater gushed into Megan du Plessis' Mini Cooper each time she tried opening her door.

She was sitting, stranded in the middle of a roundabout north of Wellington, unsure if anyone would stop, and with no idea what to do.

Before the 21-year-old's parents knew what was happening, they had already seen photos of her abandoned car posted on Stuff's live coverage.

Du Plessis was rescued by Richard Mexted, of Feilding, who saw her deluged Mini and stopped.
BERNADETTE COURTNEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Du Plessis was rescued by Richard Mexted, of Feilding, who saw her deluged Mini and stopped.

Her Mini had broken down as she turned for home on the Plimmerton roundabout, certain she had already missed her appointment in town.

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But, as she prepared to exit the roundabout, her car stopped. She was stuck in floodwaters.

Floodwaters covered the highway at the roundabout, just north of Plimmerton.
BERNADETTE COURTNEY/FAIRFAX NZ

Floodwaters covered the highway at the roundabout, just north of Plimmerton.

Du Plessis said the stress in that moment was too much. She was crying in her car, unable to even talk to her parents. She didn't know what to say.

As she watched car after car drive past, she said she began to realise she needed to get herself out.

Fortunately, driving home from a cancelled conference in Wellington, Richard Mexted saw the deluged Mini and stopped.

Mexted, on his way back to Feilding, first drove du Plessis to the nearby weigh station.

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There was no way her car would work and no way to get home, du Plessis said. So Mexted took her to his brother and sister-in-law's home in Wellington.

"They offered their home to a complete stranger like me. They had homemade pizza and scones waiting for us on arrival and had a bedroom set up just for me just in case we got stranded for the night."

The road had reopened by 8pm, 10 hours after she became trapped.

The family she had never met before then gave her a ride home.

She contacted The Dominion Post to thank "some of the nicest people I've ever met".

 - Stuff

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