A teenager taking his girlfriend for a joyride in a friend's car crashed the vehicle through the front property of a Napier home - just hours after selling it on the owner's behalf.
Brent Gibbs was standing in the lounge of his Pirimai home when he heard a car lose control on a tight bend on Titoki Crescent about 1.45pm yesterday.
"I heard a loud revving noise and the driver had obviously come around the corner too fast. The back end of the car was going out and so he panicked, put in the clutch and that's when I heard an horrendous sound," Mr Gibbs said.
"It was a scraping noise as the car was going across the corner of the property next door, over the top of some recycling bins.
"Next minute, two trees in the front left-hand side of my property started to fall down and the car came through and flattened the fence, hitting a power [box], which blew out."
Mr Gibbs said the car was wedged in between two trees at the front of his house and he had to help the driver and passenger out of it.
"The driver was apologetic," he said. "His girlfriend was giving him a mouthful, though, and left the scene. He certainly stayed around, though, until police came to sort everything out."
Mr Gibbs said he understood the car belonged to the driver's friend. He had just sold it for his friend and was due to deliver it to the new owner that evening.
"Now he owes money to his friend for the car and I guess reparations to us for our trees and fence, and probably about $1000 to Unison for the power [box].
"The young guy couldn't apologise enough and I think this is just going to be a valuable lesson which may save his life in the future," Mr Gibbs said.
Police serious-crash investigator Bryan Farquharson said there would be more bad news for the driver, 16, who faced careless-driving charges. He had a learner's licence and breached its conditions by having another person in the car who did not have a full licence.
"He was unfamiliar with the road which has a corner that tightens up on a left hand bend," Mr Farquharson said.
"Through his inexperience, he was going too fast into the corner and panicked, lost control and fishtailed across the road." Drivers should take that corner about 30km/h, he said. "There were people walking around the neighbourhood at the time, which made it quite dangerous. But the driver was remorseful and in shock, really, and thankful no one was hurt."