Elderly man trapped in campervan for three days

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the man in his 70s was freed from between the front seats, with one foot trapped ...

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the man in his 70s was freed from between the front seats, with one foot trapped beneath the clutch.

An elderly man spent days trapped in his camper van after falling and becoming stuck. 

It wasn't until Sunday afternoon that the man, in his 70s, was discovered by the Paeroa RV Centre chairman and emergency services were called.

He was flown to Waikato Hospital by the Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter.  

The man was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.

The man was flown to Waikato Hospital in a serious condition.

Paeroa fire brigade station officer Paul Jackson, who helped extricate him, said the man was found wedged between the driver and passenger seat.

READ MORE: Trapped under house for four days

It appeared the elderly man had been climbing from the front seated area into the back of the small caravan when he slipped.

"He was facing in towards the cabin of the motor home and his foot was stuck under the clutch pedal and his hip was wedged under the seat areas, so he couldn't move backwards or forwards."

Over the two days, he suffered deep wounds as he attempted to wriggle free, Jackson said.

"He couldn't physically get out."

There was no food or drink within his reach, he said.

Ad Feedback

"We had to manhandle him out of that tight gap, get him on to a backboard and out the side door. Being a big man, there wasn't much wriggle room for us in there, either.

"Residents found him. I'm not sure exactly why they took so long to find him."

Jackson said the man's camper van was parked about five to 10 metres from other residents.

"He said he'd been there two days - two very cold nights."

Residents had provided him water.

"He was drinking that when we found him.

"There are a lot of permanent residents there."

The chopper was called at 4.11pm.  

Paeroa RV Centre chairman Wayne Francis found the man and called emergency services about 3.30pm. 

"We hadn't seen him earlier that day, so I went and checked on him," Francis said. "Because of his age, we do regular checks – we do that here.

"I looked through the window and saw him lying on the floor, then I rang emergency services and comforted him until they arrived."

Francis said he couldn't get inside the caravan.

"I just talked to him through the door and waited with him."

Two fire engines and two ambulances arrived within minutes of calling, he said. 

"I would really like to praise the work of emergency services."

Francis said the man has been a resident at the park for about two years.

Rescue helicopter intensive care paramedic Karl Taylor said the man was conscious when he was flown to hospital. 

He told emergency staff he had been trapped for two nights. 

"He had serious limb injuries, but was actually conscious. He said he had slipped in the cab and got himself tied up in there and just couldn't get out."

By the time Taylor arrived, the man was "very unwell". 

"His injuries were quite significant to his limbs and he was cold, but otherwise he was holding it together.

"I have seen elderly people who have been on the floor or in a place for a sustained amount of time, but never in a camper van, but it does happen."

The man was flown to Waikato Hospital with multiple serious limb injuries. A hospital spokesperson said the man was in a serious condition in the hospital's high dependency unit on Monday. 




 - Stuff

Ad Feedback
special offers

Raising a glass to knowledge

Golden Dawn manager Nick Harrison will be raising his glass to knowledge on August 29.

University of Auckland introduces annual event that takes lectures to the pub.

Fullers ferries gets new chief executive

Former chief executive Doug Hudson with Mike Horne, who is taking over the role.

Mike Horne appointed as company focuses on tourism brands.

The fatal pamper party

Anna Browne, 36, appearing at an earlier High Court appearance.

Crown alleges woman approached her friend with a knife behind her back, before plunging it into her face.

New regulations for transporting bobby calves

A raised bobby calf loading facility with a roof allows for easy pickup for trucking companies.

Facilities that allow bobby calves to be able to walk on to stock trucks are compulsory from August 1.


Sun rises on new WWI sculpture

Sunrise through the sculpture 'Jacob's Ladder' by Helen Pollock, erected on the Hawke's Bay farm of Michael and Jane Hardy.

A plan to sculpt a head of ex-politician Sue Bradford became something more profound.

MPI bust paua sale

Hundreds of kilos of paua were sold on the black market in Wellington.

'Paua Corporation' were taking 100s of kilos for black market sale.

Another slip in Manawatu Gorge

A new slip has fallen on the already-closed Manawatu Gorge road.

The already closed state highway through the gorge is blocked by a third slip.

Lower Hutt's 'ugly duckling'

The George St property has a rateable value of $580,000.

Building that "won't be winning any glamour contests" presents an opportunity.


Windy day on fresh powder gallery

A photo from Mt Hutt ski area's Facebook page shows groomers working in fresh snow.

The weekend's storm dumped huge amounts of snow on Canterbury ski fields, but wind is disrupting skiers in some areas.

Pot holes new threat

Damage to the road surface after flooding on Eastern Tce, by the Heathcote River in Christchurch.

Christchurch still in state of emergency as flooding leaves roads pitted - or still closed.

What's become of the nightlife? video

Red Light District bar.

New bars and cafes are emerging in Christchurch every month, so how are they doing?

Road rage hit-and-run

A car carrying a heavily pregnant woman was struck during a road rage incident in Christchurch. (file photo)

A heavily pregnant woman was left bruised after her car was hit during a road clash.


Parents sell up to treat child video

Moana Forbes admits that Ka'iulani's illness has changed their lives, but they couldn't live with themselves if they ...

A Hamilton couple are selling their home to give their first born a fighting chance.

Death on the footpath video

Police tape guards the scene in North Street, Te Awamutu.

Body discovery scream startles couple as they nestle in for prime time tele.

'C' brand fails to click

One of the proposed posters with the re-brand. Some in the community weren't happy that a stock images has been used for it.

Business loves Cambridge's new branding. The people? Not so much.

SH25A closed for days

The slip on Stahe Highway 25a which is causing massive delays and detours.

Main road over Coromandel Peninsula won't be clear until at least Thursday.


Something beginning with C

240717 News Photo. SIMON O'CONNOR/STUFF
Central School in New Plymouth has had the 'C' stolen from its front entrance. ...

Be on the lookout for a missing C. It belongs to Entral School, formerly known as Central School.

Visa woe investigated

Abbey Looker with father, Grant Looker

The UK Home Office is investigating a Kiwi woman's deportation to Spain, and 10 year ban from the UK.

Violent abuser guilty

On Monday in the New Plymouth District Court, Kelly Shane Harnish pleaded guilty to a string of domestic violence ...

He initially denied the abuse and attacks on his partner but has since had a change of heart.

Fallen soldier remembered

Ralph Doughty, of Stratford, Taranaki, was awarded the Military Cross for his heroic actions in World War One.

The difference between life and death was a matter of seconds for a Kiwi soldier who died 100 years ago.


Holiday park up for award

Former owner of Himatangi Beach Holiday Park Dennis Penney with his most recent hospitality award.

The Himatangi Beach Holiday Park is a finalist in the 2017 Spirit of Hospitality Awards.

Conman allowed to sue

Brian Hunter has multiple convictions, including for impersonating a pilot and a lawyer.

A serial conman says probation officers' negligence cost him, and he's going to sue.

Robber stabs staff member

A staff member at a Levin food store on Queen St has been stabbed in the hand during a robbery.

A staff member of a Levin food store has been stabbed in the hand during a robbery.

Manawatu Gorge alternative urgent

Contractors work in the Manawatu Gorge earlier this year. Their efforts have so far been futile.

OPINION: For over 130 years, bits of the Manawatu Gorge have been falling down.


MTBs get down and dirty gallery video

Tasman De Leeuw after his run in Nelson Mountain Bike Club's winter downhill series at Kaka, in the Matai Valley.

The Nelson Mountain Bike Club's downhill winter series turned into a mud bath.

Pain relief battle

Yvonne Gill has been using opioid painkillers for 10 years to manage pain from a medical mishap.

 A Nelson woman is angry at doctors for stopping access to strong painkillers.

Koha Shed turns two video

21072017 NEWS photo / MARION VAN DIJK / STUFF
The Koha Shed Nelson  founders Cara Glenhill, left, and Janine Brennan ...

Hundreds of items have passed through the Nelson Koha Shed, helping thousands of people.

Nelson reign supreme video

Nelson players and management celebrate their club championship success.

Nelson turn it on to hammer Wanderers in Nelson Bays club rugby final. 


Cats suffer anxiety too

Vet Centre Marlborough senior veterinarian Mark Wiseman says some cats have to take anxiety medication long term.

Some of our feline friends are so stressed they need anti-anxiety pills, just like humans.

End of the Manhattan

23072017 News Photo- RICKY WILSON/STUFF
The Manhattan Cafe has been sold after 28 years of ownership by 
Murray and Mary ...

Blenheim's longest-running cafe calls it a day.

Boris likens hongi to headbutt

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (centre) arrives at Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura about 9am on Monday with Civil ...

Flamboyant British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson was welcomed onto Takahanga Marae in Kaikoura this morning.

No longer a pipe dream

Seddon residents should be able to drink water straight from the tap once the treatment plant is completed by May.

Clean water coming soon. Filtration Technology Ltd will design and build treatment plant in Seddon.

South Canterbury

'Tough as teak' ex-AB dies

Tom Lister played eight tests as an All Black against, Australia, France, Wales, South Africa and the 1971 British and ...

South Canterbury's most-capped test All Black Tom Lister dies, aged 73.

Farmer rescued

Flooding caused several vehicles to be stranded with one man stranded on the roof of his car at night on Friday, not ...

Farmer stranded on car roof during heavy flooding was "incredibly lucky" to be saved.

Assault accused changes plea

A Timaru man admitted a charge of violence on the same day he was due to answer the charge at a judge alone trial.

Timaru man convicted after repeatedly punching former partner.

Fundraising group proposed

Timaru District Council hopeful Murray Cleverley wants to fundraise for the refurbishment of the Theatre Royal.

Community group proposed to help bankroll multi-million dollar upgrade of theatre.


"The culinary world has just lost a gentleman"

Scott Richardson, pictured here in 2015, in his role as a catering and hospitality teacher at Southland Boys' High School.

Well-known Invercargill chef Scott Richardson died this morning in Dunedin Hospital.

'Business as usual'

Aparima College principal Kaye Day. The latest Governmental report on the College said "urgent" improvement in ...

A troubled Southland secondary school is to continue as usual, despite its leadership coming under fire.

Hotel facing potential delays

Invercargill Licensing Trust general manager Greg Mulvey in front of the proposed site of the ILT's new multi-million ...

The Invercargill Licensing Trust has unearthed some speed bumps in its plans to build a new inner city hotel.

Defending champions on fire

Wensley's Fire cyclists from left to right, Nick Barclay, Marty Jillings, Ben Coley and Tai-Anne Blair set off in the ...

The fire service team has confirmed its the fastest emergency service in Invercargill.

Ad Feedback