Crash victim likely saved by quick first aid from passing neighbours
A neighbour of the man who crashed on the Tapu-Coroglen Road on Tuesday said he initially seemed fine and even got himself out of the van after it rolled down a bank into a creek.
The 23-year-old driver suffered serious injuries after his people-mover went over the 5-metre bank, coming to rest in a stream.
Emergency services were called to the scene, on the unpaved rural road inland from Te Mata Bay, on the Coromandel Peninsula, about 4.20pm Tuesday, district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said.
She praised people first on the scene who gave life-saving first aid before ambulance staff arrived.
Given the remote location of the crash, the actions of those first on the scene likely saved the man's life, Ms Grace said.
"In this case it appears the injured driver has a lot to be grateful for and the actions by the various people involved are worthy of recognition."
A neighbour, who did not want to be named, yesterday said she had seen the man at the local shop moments before the crash.
But as she drove home with her partner, they were flagged down by another driver.
She said the man was heading home from work, but she had no idea what might have caused his vehicle to leave the road. The woman said the van had rolled a few times but by the time her partner had managed to get himself down the bank, to the creek, the driver had already managed to get out and was removing his gear from the van.
"He seemed fine," she said.
A couple from a nearby farm helped the men out of the creek.
The woman said it wasn't until they began driving the man to Thames Hospital that they noticed he had a large bump on the back of his head.
"He got out of the car and then began to have a seizure.
"I went and called 111 and [my partner] started doing chest compressions."
A short while later the Westpac Helicopter showed up and flew him to Waikato Hospital, where he is recovering.
Earlier this year one person was injured when a car went over a bank on the Thames Coast Rd, just south of the site of Tuesday's crash.