Fatal crash survivor pleaded with driver to stop

By Sophie Rishworth of the Gisborne Herald

The three victims of the crash - from left - driver Dylan Kingi, Holly Kay Gunn and Peter Bunyan. Photos / Facebook
The three victims of the crash - from left - driver Dylan Kingi, Holly Kay Gunn and Peter Bunyan. Photos / Facebook

The sole survivor of the fatal car crash in Gisborne on Saturday night has told police how she pleaded with the driver to stop before the collision that claimed three lives.

Claire Badger was a back-seat passenger in the car, which was destroyed when it smashed into a concrete power-pole at high speed on Nelson Road near the Gisborne cemetery.

The three people killed were the driver Dylan Kingi, 28, front-seat passenger Peter Bunyan, 27, and back-seat passenger Holly Gunn, 25.

Senior Sergeant Maui Aben said through their inquiries it appeared the driver, Mr Kingi, had been drinking before he drove.

"We are waiting for the post- mortem results to definitively say that but we are 99.9 percent sure he has been. The people who were spoken to said that he had been drinking that night.''

Mr Kingi leaves behind two children, Jordan and Aylah. He was the son of William and Debbie, stepson of Sonny Wainui and brother to Courtney and Shadei.

Peter Bunyan was the son of John and Lesley and brother of Penny, Sarah, Andrew and Ange.

This morning Miss Gunn's sister said her sister had not known the driver - he had just been giving her a ride home.

Snr Sgt Aben said survivor Miss Badger had provided police with an interview indicating what happened, including that she had pleaded with Mr Kingi to stop.

"She said to him, 'I can't see the police - just pull over'. Obviously Mr Kingi has chosen to continue to drive and obviously at speed.''

Miss Badger amazed emergency services by being able to walk out of the wreckage - with her survival called a "miracle'' by St John operations team manager Shane Clapperton.

The car was "still live'' after making contact with the electric wires carried by the concrete power pole, which had been smashed into several pieces on impact.

Yesterday Miss Badger's mother Margaret said her daughter was progressing well and was expected to leave the hospital in the next day or two.

"Our hearts go out to the families of the young people killed in the crash. Our thoughts are with them at this time.

"Our family would like to thank the police, St John and hospital staff for their assistance and care, and our friends and family for their love and support.''

Miss Badger's father, Paul, told TV One news yesterday that their daughter was lucky to have come out of the incident without serious injury.

"She has no broken bones, no major internal injuries. She hasn't got any stitches or even a sticking plaster on her.

"Compared to the other parents, we're just so lucky to still have our daughter. We could be planning a funeral.''

Police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority are investigating the crash.

The accident happened about 9.45 pm on Saturday night.

Police say Mr Kingi - the driver of the white Mitsubishi car - drove off after officers tried to pull the car over near Wi Pere Street.

Police chased the car for about 90 seconds along Stout Street before they lost sight of it at the intersection of Lytton and Nelson roads, because of the driver's speed.

A few minutes later they came across the crash scene.

Police have been seeking a male witness spoken to on Saturday night during the few minutes they lost sight of the vehicle. The man has since made contact with police after reading about the fatality and he was helpful to the police investigation, said Snr Sgt Aben.

- Herald on Sunday

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