Two young American tourists have narrowly escaped death after the car they were in was hit by a vehicle falling from the fourth storey of a carpark building in Auckland.
Ana Stylos, 24, and her friend Chloe Olson, 22 - both from Seattle, Washington - had just entered their parked rental car at about 8.40pm on Tuesday when it was struck on York St in Newmarket. They both walked away uninjured.
"I'm shocked," Ms Stylos told the Herald today. "I've never been that close to dying. If the car had fallen - or if I was parked - even just one foot further up I think we would have been crushed."
The occupants of the falling car - a 30-year-old woman and a 39-year-old man - are in critical and serious conditions.
The critically injured woman has severe head injuries and the man is in a serious but stable condition. Both are at Auckland City Hospital.
Ms Stylos and Ms Olson had got into the front seats of the car just two minutes before the fall. Ms Stylos had put the keys into the ignition at the moment the car hit.
"We had just gotten out of our yoga class and we were sitting in our parked car discussing our class when all of a sudden we heard a noise and looked up. The next second, there's a car upside down on the hood of our car."
She said it was "terrifying".
"I heard something fall - I think it was a guard rail - and then I didn't even have time to think. I looked up to see what it was and when I was looking up the car followed and fell upside down on our car."
Ms Stylos, who is currently spending three months travelling around New Zealand with Ms Olson, said her first reaction was to get out and run away from the car because she thought more cars were going to follow.
"I seriously thought it was raining cars."
Police and the serious crash unit are continuing to investigate the incident. Police confirmed to the
this evening there were two women in their 20s in the parked car and both had escaped without injury.
Police had earlier said no one was in the parked vehicle at the time it was hit.
Ms Stylos said the falling vehicle landed half on the front of their car and half on the ground.
"It was a very large crunch of metal and I guess my first thought was there's probably people in the other car. But I was too shaken up to approach it.
"I didn't want to get involved because I was too shaken up and I was not going to help anything and I didn't want to see any crumpled up people."
She said luckily about 10 bystanders had already gathered and were quickly tending to the fallen car.
Ms Stylos and Ms Olson tried to call emergency services but did not know how to direct them to the scene.
"But the other people, the bystanders, were able to take my phone and tell the cops where we were," Ms Stylos said.
"It was just not something I was ever expecting could happen to me and I was really impressed by the peoples' response -- who were on the scene right away -- and just the way everyone handled the situation."
Tournament, which operates the car park the vehicle fell from, could not be reached for comment.