Letterbox an ineffective car stop

21:14, Jun 16 2014
Car crash
CLOSE CALL: Analesha’s car was smashed after rolling and hitting a letterbox.

Sally Cook and Darag Rennie probably have the most expensive letterbox on Auckland's Hibiscus Coast.

The Scott Rd couple paid $600 towards repairs for their $1200 letterbox after four crashes on the same bend in 12 years.

The latest was when Analesha Wesbonk, 23, swerved to avoid a cat last Saturday on her way home to Wade River Rd, but smashed the brick letterbox before rolling her car.

Analesha Wesbonk
CRASH SURVIVOR: Analesha Wesbonk is recovering after she rolled her car while dodging a cat on a sharp corner at Scott Rd, Stanmore Bay.

Wesbonk is home with delayed concussion and abdominal pains, "feeling pretty sore", she says.

Crashes on the site are nothing new to Cook and Rennie, who moved from Murrays Bay in 2002.

They say the problem is exacerbated by a reverse camber which pushes drivers away from the road towards their letterbox and down into a steep bank.


Darag Rennie and Sally Cook
MORE REPAIRS: House owners Darag Rennie and Sally Cook will need another new letterbox.

"The police said Analesha's a careful driver, but put it down to a slippery road," Rennie says.

"It's only slippery because of the reverse camber," he says.

In 2002 a hit and run driver totalled the letterbox, leaving the couple with a $300 insurance excess to repair it.

Eight years later, the letterbox was struck again.

Rennie called the Auckland Council to examine it and a 35kmh sign was placed on the bend.

"I wanted them to do more but they wouldn't because they needed three recorded incidents," he says.

The 2002 crash wasn't reported.

Last year, Rennie and Cook were forced to pay a $300 excess again when the letterbox couldn't stop a car driven by an uninsured driver carrying six young passengers from ploughing down the bank into a gum tree.

They all survived.

The council put in bigger road signs and added three reflector arrows.

Rennie would like more done after the third reported incident. His preference is for speed bumps but he is waiting to hear back from the council.

The drivers of those three crashes have all been young, he says.

The crashes happened at different times of the day, in varying weather.

The couple are concerned for their family's safety.

"The main thing I'm afraid of is my daughters backing out the driveway to exit and a car comes round like that - they've got no chance," Rennie says.

"They'll have a letterbox coming through their window as well as the car."

Police credit the letterbox with helping save Wesbonk from possibly being killed.

Her car came to a stop in the couple's driveway and she managed to climb out of the upside-down car before calling her parents.

Mum Donna says it's shaken the whole family up and they won't use the road at night.

"I definitely don't think it's a safe road now," she says.

The postie is delivering to a cardboard box until the brick letterbox is repaired.

Rodney Times