Man injured in dramatic car crash

FRONT HALF: The front half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning. The "very, very lucky" driver sustained moderate injuries.
FRONT HALF: The front half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning. The "very, very lucky" driver sustained moderate injuries.
BACK HALF: The back half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning.
BACK HALF: The back half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning.
DAMAGE: Sergeant Clint Wright, of Gore, beside a tree which a car slammed into before splitting in two north of Mataura in Southland.
DAMAGE: Sergeant Clint Wright, of Gore, beside a tree which a car slammed into before splitting in two north of Mataura in Southland.

Police are astounded a Southland man survived a crash that left his car split in half this morning.

The 20-year-old driver was heading south to Mataura at 5.30am on State Highway 1 this morning when his car left the road and hit a tree.

Sergeant Clint Wright, of Gore, said the driver appeared to have crossed the centre line and travelled across about 40m of grass before slamming into a tree.

FRONT HALF: The front half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning. The "very, very lucky" driver sustained moderate injuries.
FRONT HALF: The front half of the car that split in two after hitting a tree north of Mataura this morning. The "very, very lucky" driver sustained moderate injuries.

The car then bounced of the tree and slid a further 10m before hitting another tree. The second impact was enough to shear the car in two.

The front half of the car was beside the second tree while the back half was 20m further down the road, Wright said.  

The driver sustained moderate chest and back injuries and was flown to Southland Hospital by helicopter.

DAMAGE: Sergeant Clint Wright, of Gore, beside a tree which a car slammed into before splitting in two north of Mataura in Southland.
DAMAGE: Sergeant Clint Wright, of Gore, beside a tree which a car slammed into before splitting in two north of Mataura in Southland.

''He is very very lucky, very lucky,'' Wright said.    

Initially, it was believed a second person was  missing after the crash.

However, after a thorough search of the area, police did not believe that was the case.

Police investigations were continuing into the cause of the crash and the investigation would include a test for the presence of alcohol, Wright said.

Senior Sergeant Matt Scoles, of Dunedin, said the highway was closed for a short time but was now open and police urged caution to motorists.

''Oil and fuel have spilled onto the road making it difficult for clean up crews,'' Scoles said.

Roads were already icy so motorists needed to drive to the conditions, he said.  

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