Driver badly hurt in black spot crash

By Anna Ferrick


A man is in a serious condition in hospital after crashing into a roadside ditch in an area locals say is prone to accidents.

The 46-year-old man and his 20-year-old female passenger were travelling along Tukituki Rd when they failed to take a bend and careered into the ditch, leaving the driver trapped for more than an hour.

Fire, ambulance and police attended the scene of the accident at about 12.15pm yesterday.

Stephen Smith of St John Ambulance said the woman was taken to hospital with moderate injuries to her neck and abdomen, while the man suffered moderate injuries to his neck and chest.

He was listed in a serious but stable condition in the high dependency unit of Hawke's Bay Hospital, Hastings, yesterday afternoon.

His passenger was also admitted to hospital and listed as stable. Hawke's Bay road policing manager Sergeant Clint Adamson said the bend was one of many on Tukituki Rd marked as 35km/h.

He said the driver had taken the bend too wide and ended up almost vertical in the ditch.

Residents of a nearby property were the first on the scene, helping to free the woman from the wreckage and phoning for help. They described it as sounding "like an earthquake".

They said yesterday that crashes were a common occurrence on the bend. One resident, who did not wish to be named, said it was the second crash this year in the exact same place.

"It happens frequently, we see a few accidents every year. They all end up in the ditch."

She said she and her partner were always the first on the scene.

"The last one was drunk drivers at 3am. They were really lucky. I was outside by myself, I had to get down into the ditch, which was filled with water at the time and see if they were okay. My worst fear is seeing someone in a bad way and not being able to do anything, or only being able to do so much."

She said the 10-minute drive from Hastings felt "like forever" when waiting for emergency services to arrive.

The woman said during the last accident one of the passengers ended up unconscious under water as the ditch had filled with rain.

"I don't know why they don't put a barrier up there. Even if they bounce of it and end up on the other side it's not as bad."

She was unaware if the council had ever looked in to putting barriers up.

The Hastings District Council was not available for comment yesterday.

Sergeant Adamson said he has not personally attended any other crashes on the corner but said there was nothing wrong with the road.

"This crash wasn't caused by the road, it was caused by driver error.

"There are pretty obvious 35km/h advisory signs."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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