Fatal crash: Sick baby led to lucky escape

By Patrice Dougan

Police and emergency services at the scene of the accident in Otara. Photo / Sarah Ivey
Police and emergency services at the scene of the accident in Otara. Photo / Sarah Ivey

Taking a sick baby to hospital led to a lucky escape for a young woman after a car smashed into her bedroom.

The Otara woman's father said she and her partner were "lucky they weren't at home" after the car caused the master bedroom of their south Auckland house to partly collapse.

The woman was at hospital with her sick baby, while her partner was working a night shift when three teenagers crashed into the Otara house in a stolen Subaru about 4.20am.

The 16-year-old driver is believed to have died on impact, while his two teen passengers were taken to Middlemore Hospital in serious but stable condition.

The corner of the house, on the corner of Franklyne Road and Alexander Crescent, collapsed onto the car, trapping the driver and one passenger inside.

Police said the car had been stolen overnight, but officers were not in pursuit at the time of the crash.

It is not yet known whether alcohol was a factor.

The woman resident's, Sano Tamasese, said his daughter was "lucky" not to be at home.

Everything in the bedroom had been destroyed, and this morning he was waiting to see whether he would be able to salvage anything from elsewhere in the house, including a new suite of furniture and a flat screen television recently bought.

Mr Tamasese said his daughter had complained about boy racers in the area.

Fire crews were this morning removing tiles and parts of the front walls of the house in a bid to free the car, which still contained the body of the deceased teen.

Housing New Zealand said it had provided accommodation for both tenants of the house, which was split into two units. The family have accepted a property in Mangere, a spokeswoman said.

A structural engineer was due to assess the house this afternoon to ascertain whether it can be saved.

In the meantime a 2m fence has been erected and 24 hour security put in place to protect the property.

The teen driver killed in the crash is believed to have lived only doors down from the scene.

A neighbour across the street ran to the aid of the three teenagers, after being woken by the sound of the vehicle, but was unable to save the driver.

"I looked out the window and saw the car hit into the house," said 18-year-old Katai Liu.

His sister rang emergency services while he ran to help the car's occupants.

"One of the passengers came out screaming for help ... I managed to pull the other passenger, not right out of the car, but to safety, so the ambulance people's job would be easier."

Mr Liu described the situation as "scary".

He said the deceased boy had been two years below him in school, and described him as a nice guy who was "easy to get on with".

"I just wish I could have done more for [him]," Mr Liu said.

One woman, Eni Naniseni, whose son went to school with the boys in the crash, said it was a "sad" day.

"It's really sad. I knew all those kids from when they were young and they all went to kindy with my son," she said. "And now his life has been taken under the age of 17, it's not good."

- APNZ

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