St John slow reaching fatal smash

MATT BOWEN
Last updated 05:00 09/04/2014

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An ambulance took 31 minutes to reach the scene of a car crash that later turned fatal, sparking an internal St John investigation into what caused the delay.

On Saturday, Rea Day, 21, was critically injured when the car she was in hit a tree on Garden Heights Ave in the Hamilton suburb of Melville. The vehicle then smashed into a power pole, snapping it, before stopping nine metres on.

Alcohol and speed were factors in the crash, police said.

Witness spoken to by the Waikato Times claimed it took half an hour to 40 minutes for an ambulance to arrive.

And yesterday St John Ambulance communication centre manager Richard Lane confirmed there was a delay.

"The St John ambulance communication centre received a call for assistance at Garden Heights Avenue in Hamilton on Saturday 5 April," he said.

"The initial call was received at 3.38am. An ambulance was assigned at 4.02am and located on scene at the accident at 4.09am. St John is currently investigating the cause of the delayed response."

The distance between Waikato Hospital and the crash scene is 3.1 kilometres or seven minutes by car.

From the St John base in Seddon Rd it is 5.3km, about 10 minutes away.

In urban areas the target is to reach 50 per cent of incidents within eight minutes.

Day, a mother of two, died on Sunday from her injuries.

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- Waikato Times

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