Ravine crash seriously injures man
A 42-year-old man has serious injuries after the car he was driving left the road and plunged into a 20-metre ravine in Pohangina, near Ashhurst.
The crash in Pohangina Valley Rd about 11 am yesterday resulted in the Palmerston North rescue helicopter being used to airlift the victim to hospital.
Constable Mark Glentworth, of Ashhurst, said the Pohangina man was driving towards the village when his vehicle, a Toyota Altezza, left off the road, travelling up a hill, smashing through a fence, and flew about 50 metres diagonally across a ravine.
His badly crumpled vehicle came to rest against a fallen tree trunk, next to a creek, leaving a trail of car parts and items from the vehicle in its wake. The man was seriously injured and, because of the depth of the ravine, it took police, fire service and St John ambulance staff about 20 minutes to carefully hoist him back up the bank and into a waiting ambulance.
He was stabilised and transported down the road to the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter, which flew him to Palmerston North Hospital.
Mr Glentworth said he had yet to speak to the man, so the cause of the crash was unknown.
Given the dense bush and the depth of the ravine, the man was lucky a neighbour saw the vehicle as he passed, then heard the crash a few moments later.
If they had not, there was little chance he would have been found so promptly, Mr Glentworth said.