Third stock crash sparks warning

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 12:18 30/07/2014

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A driver was injured when he slammed into a bull on a rural road near Cambridge this morning, sparking more warnings from police.

It's the second crash of its kind this week following a serious crash on Arapuni Rd where a man was trapped inside his crumpled vehicle after hitting a horse in similar circumstances to the fatal smash that killed Matamata woman Joy Robinson in June.

He suffered serious injuries.

In today's incident, emergency services responded to the scene near the intersection of Maungatautari and Taane roads, in Waipa, shortly before 6am.

The bull was put down at the scene and the driver was transported to Waikato Hospital with moderate injuries, St John spokesperson Ptrece Gosney-Payne said.

The male driver was in the care of ambulance staff when the Cambridge Volunteer Fire Brigade arrived, chief fire officer, Don Gerrand, said.

The Subaru station wagon was severely damaged in the crash and Gerrand said the driver was fortunate not to suffer more serious injuries.

''[The bull] has gone up on the bonnet and over the roof and taken the roof out so he was pretty lucky to get out the way he did.''

It was believed the young man, who was travelling to work, suffered a concussion.

District road policing manager, Inspector Freda Grace said police are imploring landowners to check the integrity of their fences and gates.

"At the same time we also ask motorists to check their cars are up to warrant of fitness standard and their headlights are working properly. Each of the collisions outlined are still under investigation so I can't comment on if faulty lights were an issue but it makes sense to check your car as a precaution."

Grace said motorists were also reminded that it was a legal requirement  to be able to stop their car in half the length of visible road ahead.

"If land owners and road users do their part we will all be going a long way to ensuring incidents like today's are avoided and Waikato roads are a safe place to travel."

It was unclear how the beast got free this morning but Senior Sergeant Rupert Friend, who happened upon the scene, said the fence appeared sound.

Stock on the road is bad news anyway you look at it, Senior Sergeant Peter Simpson, of the District Command Centre, said ''people often die because animals on the road usually go through the windscreen and it's all over rover - stock on the road is something we all have to watch out for.''

Stock will often kick out, too, after being struck.If they land on the bonnet and are alive, then they're panicked and thrust their hooves in and out which can cause serious injuries, Waikato police communications manager Andrew McAlley said.

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Similarly, if they die the animal's nerves carry out the same thrusting motions. In some cases, Simpson said, animal owners whose stock wander into traffic can be taken to court and face charges as severe as manslaughter. 

- Waikato Times

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