Close call for tourist

17:24, Nov 07 2012
French tourist car crash
Off road: A French tourist talks with a police officer after the crash.

An unexpected pitstop off State Highway 1 near Rongotea was not on the itinerary of a tourist who found himself in a ditch after crashing his rental car.

Frenchman Jean Jacques Le Guernic, 53, was unharmed when his Suzuki Swift rental car rolled several times before stopping in a roadside ditch north of Wale and Milner roads about 11am yesterday.

Mr Le Guernic said he had been reaching for a dropped bottle cap when he lost control of the car.

He had been on his way to Wellington from Rotorua, having booked himself a passage on an early morning ferry across to Picton this morning.

He had been in New Zealand for only three days, and had Christchurch and Mt Cook on his itinerary before leaving near the end of the month. 

It was the first car crash he had been in and he was scared when the car was rolling, he said.

Bulls Senior Constable John Green said police would take Mr Le Guernic to Foxton so he could sort out transport to Wellington.

Investigations into the crash were continuing and he had not been charged by yesterday afternoon.

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Manawatu Standard