Heartless drivers ignore elderly road victims

By James Ihaka

The elderly couple were knocked over at this intersection. Photo / Christine Cornege
The elderly couple were knocked over at this intersection. Photo / Christine Cornege

An elderly couple hit by a truck in a busy Waikato town lay seriously injured as other motorists passed without stopping to help.

The 71-year-old man and his 67-year-old wife were on a walk when they were struck by the vehicle in Cambridge shortly before 10am yesterday.

Sergeant Gordon Grantham said the couple, understood to be locals, were seen on a median strip at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Albert St about 9.43am.

"Initial indications are a southbound truck and trailer unit travelled through the intersection and after it completed a passing manoeuvre, the elderly couple were found lying on the roadway."

Mr Grantham said an elderly woman stopped her car in the lane to protect and help the injured couple, but several other vehicles passed by without stopping.

"There were a number of vehicles that drove around the car that had stopped to protect the two people on the road without stopping - it was pretty disappointing," he said.

"This included a couple of trucks ... they went right on the outside lane, it's no wonder we have accidents."

Black Ball Liquor store owner Jagdeep Singh was opening his shop when he saw the couple "tumbling" down the road.

Mr Singh rushed over and saw the man lying on the ground, unconscious and breathing heavily with blood coming from a head wound.

He said the man's wife was bleeding from her nose and mouth, and had a large haematoma under her right eye.

"She fell over and then she tried to regain her feet but fell over again," he said. "She didn't know what had happened or what was going on."

Not far behind was Mark Fraser-Campin, who was travelling to the Chequers Stud that he co-owns near Maungatautari.

Mr Fraser-Campin stayed with the couple, comforting the elderly man.

"The wife had quite a bad head injury, but he was out cold and in a really bad way," said Mr Fraser-Campin.

"He came to after a couple of minutes, but he must have had broken ribs and pretty bad concussion and after a couple of minutes was obviously going into shock."

The man was last night in a critical condition in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit, and the woman was in the hospital's emergency department with serious head injuries.

Mr Grantham said a truck driver who stopped at the scene had been interviewed by police.

- NZ Herald

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