Chopper winching trapped motorists out

03:14, Apr 30 2014
Wye creek
Wye Creek crash at the Devils Staircase between Kingston and Queenstown.

Two men from the United Kingdom plunged 30m down a bank at Wye Creek Bridge at 5am before stopping at the bottom of a ravine.

Acting Sergeant Phil Hamlin, of Queenstown police, in a statement, said initial indications were the 24-year-old driver of the Toyota Highlander lost control and failed to take a bend on the southern approach to the bridge and crashed into a roadside barrier.

The vehicle then went through scrub before falling 30m into the ravine.

The men, aged 22 and 24, are living in Queenstown. 

Hamlin said one of the men escaped from the vehicle and scrampled up to the road to flag down a passing motorist.

Emergency services from Frankton, Kingston and Queenstown attended the crash scene.


A Heliworks helcopter and crew used a strop to lower a paramedic into the ravine and get the driver from the creek. Because of his injuries he could not get to the road from the vehicle.

Both men were taken to Lakes District Hospital. 

The driver is believed to have suffered leg and possible internal injuries while the passenger suffered minor injuries. 

A police serious crash investigator is travelling from Invercargill to the crash site. 

It appears both men were wearing safety belts. 

The road on State Highway 6 is now reopened.

No other vehicles were involved in the crash.


Fairfax Media