Pair survive car plunge

KAT DUGGAN
Last updated 07:01 30/12/2013
Crash
Scott Hammond

Lucky escape: A Christchurch pair were rescued after their small four-wheel-drive went over a bank on the Weld Pass south of Blenheim yesterday afternoon.

Crash
Scott Hammond
The steep hillside where a car went over the bank on the Weld Pass

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Two holidaymakers walked away from their car after it plunged at least 50 metres down a bank on the Weld Pass south of Blenheim yesterday.

Police, fire and ambulance crews were called to the pass on State Highway 1 about 4pm, where the four-wheel-drive Suzuki had gone down the bank and ended up against a tree, which stopped it going further down.

Acting Sergeant Jonathan Rosene, of Blenheim, said the man and woman, in their late 20s, were already out of the vehicle when police arrived.

He estimated the car had gone 50 to 60 metres down the bank, which was a steep drop.

The holidaymakers had no obvious signs of major injury, but the pair were treated by ambulance staff before being taken to Wairau Hospital, in Blenheim, for observation, Mr Rosene said.

The Christchurch pair had been travelling north towards Picton when the car left the winding section of road.

A scene investigation would need to be carried out, Mr Rosene said. He thought the wet weather was likely to be a contributing factor to the crash.

Marlborough highway patrol team leader Sergeant Barrie Greenall said wet weather during the weekend had made the roads more dangerous when traffic was heavier than normal, but most drivers had been "pretty good".

Mr Greenall last week warned travellers that extra police patrols would be out during the Christmas-New Year holidays.

In particular he warned drivers to expect to be stopped by police at checkpoints on New Year's Day.

"There will be early morning checkpoints on New Year's Day. We will be breath-testing," he said.

It was particularly important for drivers under 20 to be aware of this, as they had a zero-alcohol limit while driving.

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- The Marlborough Express

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