Country crashes close calls

22:59, Jul 14 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.

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.

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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.

The Southland Times