Airborne vehicle slams into car yard


Police were left shaking their heads on Saturday evening after a car-load of young people walked away from a spectacular crash which left two luxury cars on a Napier sales yard extensively damaged.

Dealer principal of Bay Ford Joe McAleese was also shaking his head yesterday as he and staff arrived to clean engine fluids and wreckage from the area.

"It's probably going to be close to $50,000 damage," he said.

On of the two late-model Ford Falcons that were struck by the out-of-control car, which had been airborne when it hit them, had a hole punched into its engine and was likely to be a write-off.

The second Falcon, a specialised FPV version, had extensive panel damage and a decision on whether it could be repaired was yet to be made.

What made things worse was that as Mr McAleese was hosing down the area a man arrived and asked to see the FPV Falcon, which he had spotted on the website and was interested in.

"I thought he was having me on but he wasn't - the one he was interested in was the one that got hit."

A large Ford sign at the corner of the lot was also badly damaged - to the tune of about $5000.

"Crazy stuff," was how one of Mr McAleese's colleagues described the incident.

Napier police strategic traffic unit Senior Constable Ian Cheyne said the crash happened about 6.15pm, "when there were people about". He said he hated to think what could have happened had someone been walking along the Owen St frontage of the yard, or worse, been looking at the cars.

The driver of the Toyota car involved, a woman in her late teens, had been travelling down Thackeray St and veered left into Owen St, through an "s" section where it links with Wellesley Rd.

Tyre marks show the car slid into a central concrete median, which caused it to spear into the kerb on the other side of the road, which then sent it into the air.

Protective bollards along the stretch were bent as the base of the flying car hit them.

The car then smashed across the top of the two parked Falcons before, coming to land in Faulknor St, about 50m from where the driver first lost control.

The occupants, understood to have been three people, were able to get out and were not injured.

Police were not impressed with one of the passengers who allegedly boasted he had walked away despite not wearing a seatbelt.

The young woman driver underwent an evidential breath test at the scene and was later taken to the Napier Police Station.

The car she was driving was extensively damaged.

Inquiries were still being carried out and the charges she faced were being finalised.

Speed was one of the factors involved, Mr Cheyne said.

Mr Cheyne said the fact the woman was processed for possible drink-driving, during what was only the early evening underlined why police took an "any time any place" approach.

"People complain about getting stopped at all times of the day, but this is why," he said.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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