Little wrecked Corvette

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Classic car hits boat moored in Awanui River

A classic Corvette has hit a boat moored in the Awanui River in a crash giving new meaning to the term 'freak accident'.

The bizarre collision occurred just before 2pm on Monday when a 1984 Chevrolet Corvette soft-top lost control after turning from State Highway 1 into SH10 at Awanui.

The Corvette left the highway, shot down a bank, flattened a wooden fence and demolished a jetty before hitting a brand-new boat.

The driver legged it before a very surprised Craig Harrison, who was working on the boat at the time, could get a proper look at him.

The aluminium landing craft, called Jet Runner and purpose-built for tour company Harrison's Cape Runner six months ago, was undamaged. The same could not be said for the fibreglass-bodied Corvette.

Mr Harrison said he had boarded the boat minutes earlier via the now demolished jetty, planning to do some work ahead of a survey on Friday. He looked up when he heard the unmistakable sound of a V8 engine and saw the Corvette skittle the fence as it headed straight for him.

The crash gave him "a bit of a fright" but the jetty appeared to have taken most of the impact. He felt the boat move when it was struck but there was plenty of give in the mooring rope, which helped save it from damage.

Keith Doel of Harrison's Towing in Kaitaia said it was the first car versus boat crash he'd been called to.

"He's lucky the wharf was there, or he would've ended up in the boat or in the tide," Mr Doel said.

Police attended the crash and the driver, a 52-year-old man from Kaingaroa, called in at the Kaitaia station later to claim belongings which had been in the Corvette.

A police spokesman said the man would be charged in relation to his driving immediately before the crash. The nature of those charges would be decided once police had finished talking to witnesses, he said.

A similar 1984 Corvette, albeit with a different colour scheme, gained fame in the 1980s action TV series The A-Team.

- Northland Age

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