Rower escapes injury

20:14, May 17 2012
Georgia Hammond
Smashed in: Top rower Georgia Hammond was lucky to walk away from her car after another motorist crashed into her driver's door in Waikato on Monday

New Zealand under-23 rowing rep Georgia Hammond is counting her lucky stars after a car crash that could have left her badly injured.

Hammond, of Wairau Rowing Club in Blenheim, was on her way to training at Lake Karapiro, in Waikato, on Monday morning when a car failed to stop at a stop sign and ploughed into the driver's side of her car. The impact pushed Hammond's car into a large sign, wrecking the other side of the car as well.

The crash happened just days after a quiz night in Blenheim raised more than $14,000 to help Hammond and Karl Manson get to the world under-23 rowing championships in Lithuania next month.

Speaking from Cambridge yesterday, Hammond said it was a nasty shock. "I feel very lucky. Where she hit me I'm lucky to have come out with not much [injury]. It smashed both windows on my side, hit right where I was sitting. I think I saw it coming and I was confused what she was doing.

"I thought she was stopping but she didn't stop. I twisted as I saw her coming but it was too late."

There was a baby in the other vehicle while Hammond was the only person in her car.


A Cambridge police spokesman said a 22-year-old woman from Cambridge failed to stop at a stop sign, colliding with Hammond's driver door. A decision had yet to be made on charges.

Hammond still managed to make the scheduled weights training session she was on her way to. Her double scull team-mate in the New Zealand team, fellow Marlburian Sophie MacKenzie, is now her chauffeur. MacKenzie and a cycle are Hammond's only means of transport after the crash.

Hammond said injury-wise she came out all right with mainly muscle soreness where she twisted to try to avoid being hit.

Hammond said losing the car she affectionately called "Ruby Red" was something she did not need ahead of the trip to Lithuania, which was costing close to $10,000. Hammond said she was insured, but the driver of the other car was not.

The Marlborough Express