Country crashes close calls

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 15/07/2014
Close call

CLOSE CALL: A 27-year-old driver suffered back injuries when his ute ended up in a tree near Springhills, in Central Southland.

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Two serious crashes on rural Southland roads have police calling for motorists to drive to the conditions.

Constable Steve Winsloe, of Winton, said he was called to two high-impact crashes where the drivers of the vehicles crashed into trees at the weekend.

On Friday night, a 26-year-old man fractured two vertebrae when his ute ended up in a tree near Springhills on State Highway 6 about 10.30pm.

The driver got himself out of the vehicle and was found by a nearby home owner.

An ambulance was called and the driver was taken to Southland Hospital

"I've never seen a vehicle end up like that," Winsloe said.

Meanwhile, in the early hours of Sunday morning a man driving a van also crashed into a tree.

He was only found several hours later by passing motorists.

He eventually extracted himself and found shelter in a grain shed, Winsloe said.

The man suffered serious facial injuries including a compressed skull fracture.

"It appears he has been there quite a wee while and I'd say he is a pretty lucky boy," Winsloe said.

After initially being taken to Southland Hospital, the man was flown to Dunedin.

Police are still investigating the cause of both crashes.

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- The Southland Times

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