Reporter for the New Zealand Herald

Car crashes into medical lab in Torbay

An elderly driver of a car has smashed through the front window of a medical lab in a Torbay shopping area.

Emergency services were called to Beach Rd, in the North Shore bay, at 10.47am.

A fire communications spokeswoman said one person was trapped in the vehicle. The woman has since been removed and transported by ambulance to North Shore Hospital in a moderate condition.

Sue Morrison, Torbay medical centre practice manager, said the only person injured in the incident was the driver.

Ms Morrison said no staff or patients were injured.

"A patient getting a blood test at the time of the accident managed to put a pillow over themselves as the glass smashed."

Emergency services were called to Beach Rd. Photo supplied to the NZ Herald from Torbay community Facebook page.
Emergency services were called to Beach Rd. Photo supplied to the NZ Herald from Torbay community Facebook page.

Lorraine Edline, who works at Torbay Unichem Pharmacy next to the medical centre, said she heard the accident happen, but didn't see it.

When she looked outside, she saw the car on its side had smashed through the glass doors at the front of the lab.

She speculated it may have been a case of the driver accelerating instead of braking.

Another witness, Reece Vella, said he'd just come out of the sushi shop when he saw the car drive into a steel "parking pole", roll up onto its side and smash through the glass.

"I had just walked out from the sushi shop when it happened.

"I dropped my lunch and ran over to try help."

He said it was lucky no one else was hurt.

Police at the scene said the woman was trying to reverse out of a carpark, when she hit a vehicle behind her.

The impact gave her a fright and she moved the car into drive and hit the accelerator instead of the brake.

The car then hit a steel parking bollard, which it drove up like a ramp, then smashed through the glass doors at the medical centre.

A witness said if it was not for the bollard, the vehicle would have driven straight into the reception.

He said fire crews spent about 30 minutes working on removing the woman from the vehicle.

The bollard had gone through the bottom of the car and had trapped the driver, who was eventually removed through the roof by fire crews.

The witness said there was extensive damage to the medical centre.

"If people had been sitting in the seats along the front windows it could have been another story," he said.

- NZ Herald

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