Lucky escape for family
A Nelson family had a lucky escape when a Holden station wagon crashed through their carport - narrowly missing their bedroom.
Britannia Heights residents Adam Hicks and Rebecca Malthus, along with their four-year-old son Tasman, were awoken at about 3am yesterday to a loud crash.
Mr Hicks said he ran outside to see a car crashed into their carport, with the driver trying to get out.
The man apologised for what he had done, but when the family went inside "he took off".
Mr Hicks said he understood the man had stolen the car from a property 100 metres up the road, then lost control of the car, "bouncing along" the front gardens of properties along the road before veering towards his house, heading straight towards their bedroom.
At the last second the car hit a small shrub and instead hit the carport.
"We're feeling pretty lucky right now," Mr Hicks said.
Yesterday had been "a circus", with plenty of people driving down the street "rubbernecking".
The car was eventually removed by two tow-trucks.
He understood the police had yet to arrest the man.
The family was hit by tragedy last year when they lost their son, 14-month-old MacAuley Frederick Hicks, in a freak accident.
Ms Malthus, who has since started a support group for bereaved parents called Project Butterfly, said scene of crime officer Senior Constable Chris Gladstone recognised her from coverage of the cause, and offered to donate one of his paintings to an upcoming charity auction.
The auction is being held on November 2 to raise funds to build a memorial pathway in Fairfield Park.
"He was the one who said ‘not all bad things are sent to hurt us'. That's quite beautiful really."
Constable Gladstone said he was aware of Project Butterfly and had already decided to donate one of his paintings to his cause before the early morning crash.
He said when he arrived at the Hicks' place for work he realised who they were and where to drop off the painting, which he planned to do tomorrow on his day off.
Mr Gladstone said he painted for enjoyment but was pleased to donate paintings to charities. Mentoring programme Big Brothers Big Sisters was one of the causes he supported.
He said a lot of what he did as a police officer dealt with victims and helping them.
"This is just one step on from my ability to help people as a policeman. If I can help people on a more personal level then I will."
Police said they were looking for the driver, who was described as a Caucasian in his mid-20s, about 6ft tall and of skinny build. He had shaggy brown collar length hair and was wearing baggy jeans and a dark coloured top.
Anyone who was in the area at the time or has information that may lead to identifying the driver should contact Nelson Police, Ph 546 3840. Anonymous information can be given by calling Crimestoppers Ph 0800 555 111.
- © Fairfax NZ News