Woman cut from wreckage after crash

CHE BAKER
Last updated 20:02 10/10/2012

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A woman had to be cut from the wreckage of a vehicle, while another car was engulfed in flames, after a crash in  Kawarau Gorge tonight.

Emergency services were called to the scene, about 500 metres from the Goldfields Mining Centre, at 5.25pm after the two-car crash on the Kawarau Gorge Rd.

A woman in her 50s was trapped in a Toyota Corolla and had to be cut free from the wreckage, while a man in his 30s – travelling in a Subaru Legacy – was able to get out of his car, which caught fire after the crash.

Sergeant Keith Newell, of Queenstown, said it appeared the Toyota had crossed the centre line, striking the other vehicle.

The Subaru was travelling north towards Queenstown, while the female driver of the Toyota was travelling towards Cromwell.

Both people were the sole occupants of each vehicle, and were both from the Central Otago area.

Passersby assisted the pair, who were both conscious after the crash, while awaiting emergency services.

‘‘Fortunately there was a nurse from Otautau in one of the first cars on the scene, who rendered assistance,’’ Mr Newell said.

Both the man and woman were believed to have sustained serious injuries in the crash, but he was unable to comment on the nature of their injuries, he said.

Two helicopters also attended and flew the pair to Dunedin Hospital.

Those in the area were fortunate rescue helicopters were available, Mr Newell said.

Emergency services from Queenstown and Cromwell attended the scene.

A witness, travelling from the Kawarau Gorge to Glenorchy behind the Subaru, said the car caught fire almost instantaneously, while the nurse was straight on the scene to help.

Both of the vehicles, which came off the road before ending up in a layby on the side of the highway, were extensively damaged in the crash.

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