Shopper forgets to park it, crashes
A festive fender-bender had traffic backed up in Palmerston North while one woman rushed to get her last-minute Christmas shopping done.
Sarah Buick stopped for five minutes of retail therapy between finishing work for the year and dashing home to relieve her husband of childcare duty yesterday, only to forget to put her car in park.
Buick's Kia Carnival minivan rolled backwards from its position in a mid-road parking strip in central Palmerston North on Fitzherbert Ave, outside Postie Plus, and into an oncoming truck.
"I was trying to get into The Plaza and there were cones cordoning it off [because the car park was full], so I thought, 'Oh, I'll just park here'," Buick said.
"I went to get my wallet and my bag, parked up and jumped out."
But it appears she had failed to push the gear stick forward into park and the minivan, despite being in drive, rolled backwards into a Toll delivery truck.
Driver Stefan Mitchell was dropping a load of alcoholic drinks to Pak 'n Save and said he felt a bang behind him, assuming someone had reversed into him.
When he went to investigate, he was surprised to see there was no driver in the vehicle.
The minor crash caused some small scratches to the truck, and Buick's minivan's reversing sensors were damaged.
Traffic was backed up at the intersection of Fitzherbert Ave and Ferguson St for about half an hour as Plaza staff ushered cars around the one-lane blockage, which happened shortly after 1pm.
Buick said that, with four children at home and a husband keen to get into his workshop waiting for her to return, it was a frantic rush to get all her Christmas chores done in the small window of time she had spare.
"I was just racing around and have made a bit of a dick of myself," she said.
She apologised for putting people out and promised to check the gear stick more carefully in the future.
Palmerston North's Constable Tina Lord said it was fortunate the crash was not more serious. No charges have been laid.
"There were no injuries and only a little bit of property damage, which will be taken care of by insurance, so why make Christmas harder for people?"