Near-miss on icy road sparks calls for care

A woman trapped in her car after crashing with her two young children yesterday morning had to have her seatbelt cut with a knife to free her from the wreckage.

Sergeant Dave Greaves, of Alexandra, said the woman and her two children, aged 2 and 4, were travelling to Alexandra when the car hit black ice on a bridge culvert just before 9am.

The car slid on its side before landing on its roof in a drainage ditch near Chatto Creek.

A witness travelling behind the woman raised the alarm and members of the public who stopped at the scene cut the woman's seatbelt before helping her and the children, who were wearing restraints at the time, out of the car.

The two children suffered cuts and bumps and the mother received medical treatment for a sore neck.

A St John ambulance shuttle, travelling to Dunedin, was at the scene a short time after the crash and personnel were able to administer initial first aid.

The crash was a stark reminder that even if there appeared to be no signs of a morning frost, roads could still be "very dicey", he said.

The road was closed for about 30 minutes to clear the scene.

Acting southern road policing manager Senior Sergeant Steve Larking said drivers needed to take extra care on the roads in Southland and Otago as extreme weather conditions were forecast tin the two regions.

There had been several crashes in the district during the past week because of ice and people driving too fast for the conditions.

"We remind people to get the latest information about road closures and the conditions of driving routes from New Zealand Transport Agency or their local council and to plan their journeys according to the weather and road conditions," he said.

The Southland Times