Editorial: Accident empathy lacking

By Mark Story

2 comments
NASTY: Emergency crews were impeded on the scene of a Waimarama Rd crash by impatient motorists held up at the crash site. PHOTO SUPPLIED
NASTY: Emergency crews were impeded on the scene of a Waimarama Rd crash by impatient motorists held up at the crash site. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Typically the angle media take on a crash involving tourists is the foreign driver threat on our roads.

But that wasn't the only startling aspect to Saturday's head-on collision on Waimarama Rd. The interesting sub plot came courtesy the locals arrived on scene later.

The crash involved a van carrying German visitors travelling towards Hastings and a car - near the corner of Waimarama and Ocean Beach Rds at 7.10pm. It's understood the van veered to the wrong side of the road.

The mess resulting from the collision prompted the response of two rescue helicopters and three ambulances.
Soon after, they were joined by about 100 local onlookers as heavy traffic returning from the two popular nearby beaches ground to a halt.

The ensuing lack of dignity on scene by motorists held up, was loathsome.

Mike Manning, the incident controller, said fire crews were "disgusted" with bystanders' belligerence at the inconvenience. He said the travellers "obstructed us and impeded our operations".

He slammed their absence of "fortitude" and lack of empathy for the seven victims, some of whom were "very unwell."

It was a well deserved towelling.

There's nothing novel about road rage in this country. But road rage at accident scenes is infinitely more repugnant. Both the emergency services and crash victims, deserve much better from parties who turn up subsequent to a critical event like this.

Those who objected to the impediment on Waimarama Rd would surely wish for better support should they ever have the misfortune of being accident victims themselves.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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