Crash raises residents' fears

AFTERMATH: The car that smashed into the fence and garden of an Abraham Heights home on November 10.
AFTERMATH: The car that smashed into the fence and garden of an Abraham Heights home on November 10.

A Nelson mother wants traffic calming measures on Abraham Heights after a carload of young people smashed into her fence and garden minutes after her young children had been playing there.

Monique Bosch said a car crashed through her fence, destroying parts of her garden about 8pm on Saturday.

She said judging by the skid marks speed was a factor in the crash.

The crash was particularly scary as her two young children, aged two and three, had been playing outside in the front garden minutes before the crash.

Her house is partway up Abraham Heights and opposite a small park.

"The park was full of kids at the time as well. It could have easily gone through there and killed children."

They were hosting a family barbecue and were in the kitchen at the time of the crash, and described hearing a noise somebody likened to a jet. She saw a ball of dust out the window.

The crash had wiped out their garden, taking out trees and causing thousands of dollars of damage. Insurance only covered the fence, she said.

"The main thing is that no-one was hurt or killed."

She had been in a bit of a daze since the crash happened and yesterday met with representatives from the Nelson City Council to try to get changes to the road.

The family had only moved into the house three or four weeks ago, but she had spoken to neighbours who said people speeding up the road was not unusual.

"It's not the first time that it's happened, where cars have spun out."

She hoped the council would listen and some changes would be made to the road. She wanted something put in place to make drivers slow down.

"It's not a one-time occurrence. All the neighbours have said it's been an issue for years and years. I don't want anyone to have to die before anything is done about it. It's a family street, we need to feel safe. We need to feel our children are safe."

Constable Jamie White, of Nelson, said six people were in the vehicle and the driver was on his learner's licence.

The driver would be charged with dangerous driving.

Mr White said it was fortunate that no-one was killed or injured in the smash.

All six people in the car were at the scene when police arrived.

Neighbour Errol Miller said the crash was close to being a fatal on two counts as if the car had crashed 2m to the left it would have collected a concrete lamp-post.

Mr Miller said the crowd who gathered after the crash were angry and had to be kept calm until police arrived.

He said there had been at least three similar accidents over the last year and residents were "all sick of the speedsters who think Abraham Heights is a raceway".

City council executive manager of network services Alec Louverdis said he was unaware of the problem until now, and that council policy would apply in dealing with the matter.

"We would in the first instance need to undertake speed and volume counts to see where and if this falls into council's criteria for traffic calming," he said.

The Nelson Mail