Band mates smash window with shovel to save injured driver

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Van shunted into powere-pole in Masterton after being hit by a ute. Photo / Wairarapa Times Age
Van shunted into powere-pole in Masterton after being hit by a ute. Photo / Wairarapa Times Age

A group of stunned musicians frantically smashed a car window with a shovel to free an injured man from the smoke-filled interior.

The ute had smashed into a parked van on Lincoln Rd, Masterton, shunting it about 40m across the road and into a power pole.

Police, ambulance and fire were called late yesterday afternoon to the crash, which drew dozens of residents from their houses.

The injured man was taken to Wairarapa Hospital by ambulance. The extent of his injuries are not yet known.

Ryan Douglas had been in his Lincoln Rd flat with two members of his band, Inhale, one of whom owned the written-off silver van that had been parked at the intersection of Lincoln Rd and Coradine St.

"We heard two loud bangs. We all ran over to check on the driver. We saw the cab was filling with smoke so we grabbed a shovel to smash the window and dragged him out.

"He was awake when we got there but he was concussed as. As soon as we smashed the window he started responding better."

Band mate Shayne Taylor said the ordeal had been "shocking".

"Everyone's okay, that's the main thing," he said.

Constable Nick Athberley said it was fortunate the van had been empty.

Police will investigate whether a vehicle fault, driver error or medical complication caused the crash.

The owner of the van, who asked only to be named as Ben, said he ran painting and decorating business, Whipp Exteriors, out of the vehicle.

"It's my business, it's my work van. I own it all and now it's all gone."

The metal band had also been counting on the van as a means of getting to their New Plymouth gig this weekend.

"Now we'll have to suss something else to get up there," Douglas said.

Nearby residents reported losing power after the crash.

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