Crash leaves 'family man' with brain bleed

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 12:41 27/12/2013
Greyhound car crash
WARWICK SMITH/ Fairfax NZ Zoom
PAIN: A woman carries an injured greyhound after a car and van collided on the corner of Karere Road and No1 Line near Palmerston North.

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A man seriously injured in a car crash near Palmerston North is fighting for his life in Wellington Hospital after suffering a brain bleed.

The man was driving his Nissan Skyline on No 1 Line on Monday when he was involved in a collision with a van at the intersection of Karere Rd, just outside the city.

The van, which was towing a trailer carrying 14 greyhounds, was believed to be travelling on Karere Rd just after 4.30pm.

The driver and passenger of the van were taken to hospital and later discharged, while the other driver, who had to be cut free from his car, suffered more serious injuries.

The man, a 31-year-old labourer from Palmerston North, was described by his brother Jesse Laing as a family man who was dropping a friend off as a favour after spending the day at work.

Laing said his brother, who he did not want named, is a car enthusiast "not a bloody boy racer".

"He's an uncle, he's got family, he's not a child, he's not someone who goes out doing wheelies and skids and speeding everywhere," he said. "The Skyline was his pet project and was his pride and joy. He's had it for about seven or eight years."

Laing said his brother was admitted to Palmerston North Hospital in a coherent state, but quickly developed a brain bleed.

"Initially, when he was first put into ED, he was reasonably coherent and alert, but then he suffered a stroke that put him out of action and he lost the use down the left side of his body," he said.

Laing said his brother was flown to Wellington Hospital's neurosurgery department on Christmas Eve, where a section of his skull was removed to relieve swelling on his brain.

"The swelling hasn't increased, which is a positive, but until they can get that stabilised they can't deal with the clot in his neck and the stroke, so it's going to be a waiting game until [tomorrow]."

Laing said there would be a family meeting tomorrow to discuss his brother's future.

A well-known greyhound racing couple from the district owned the van and trailer involved in the crash. Their 11-year-old daughter and a staff member, who was driving the vehicle back from the Palmerston North Greyhound Racing Club, were also taken to hospital.

One of the trainers said the pair suffered superficial injuries, and after being checked at the hospital were home the following day.

Police said three dogs were euthanised and one went missing after the crash.

But the woman said "they were more shocked than anything".

The serious crash unit was investigating.

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- Manawatu Standard

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