Mother's 'blood-curdling screams' at Waikato crash scene

The scene of a crash between a car and a campervan at the intersection of Cameron Rd and Morrinsville-Tahuna Rd yesterday morning. Photo/Supplied
The scene of a crash between a car and a campervan at the intersection of Cameron Rd and Morrinsville-Tahuna Rd yesterday morning. Photo/Supplied

A Waikato man says he can still hear a mother's "blood-curdling screams" as she arrived to the scene of a horrific crash which left her young children fighting for their lives.

Royce Purnell says the woman had to be restrained by those first to the scene of the crash as she screamed and kicked to try to see her 12- and 13-year-old sons in the back seat of the silver Holden sedan.

"It was like a horror movie you know, that blood-curdling scream and just people trying to subdue her and she was trying to fight them off ... she was beside herself. I can only imagine how she was feeling."

Purnell was cooking a New Year's Day breakfast when he heard a massive bang outside his house at the intersection of Cameron and Morrinsville-Tahuna Rds about 10.30am yesterday.

Firefighters at the scene of a crash between a car and a campervan which injured seven people, including two young children. Photo / Supplied
Firefighters at the scene of a crash between a car and a campervan which injured seven people, including two young children. Photo / Supplied

He and wife, Sarah, immediately ran outside to find a campervan on its side and a silver sedan had crashed through an approximate 80cm thick concrete wall.

"I heard the noise, gees, it was so loud I knew what had happened and as I looked up I could see the car entering into the brick wall. I didn't see the other vehicle until I ran out the front door."

His wife began dialling 111 as he ran to assess how many people were in the vehicles and how many were injured.

He counted five in the silver sedan including the two boys. Another man sitting next to them was gurgling blood, while the driver - believed to be 19 years old - had suffered serious facial injuries.

However, he had to remove himself from the scene as he quickly learned that he couldn't handle the graphic nature of what he was seeing.

Purnell said the two people in the campervan "seemed okay" but shocked and were out sitting next to their vehicle after they were pulled out by bystanders.

A silver sedan crashed through a thick concrete wall after swiping a campervan which has been left on its side in the background. Photo / Supplied
A silver sedan crashed through a thick concrete wall after swiping a campervan which has been left on its side in the background. Photo / Supplied

He said the family appeared to be off for a New Year's Day picnic as food, including kebabs, lay strewn across the scene.

"The brick wall that the car went through ... moved ... at least six metres from where the car stopped."

Waikato road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace confirmed the driver of the car was 19 and the vehicle had driven through a stop sign, hitting the campervan which was heading north.

The silver Holden had been travelling in convoy with other vehicles east along Cameron Rd.

Three of the Holden's passengers remain in a critical condition, she said, while two others from the car had suffered moderate injuries.

The two occupants of the campervan suffered moderate injuries.

The police serious crash unit was investigating the crash, she said.

Grace urged road users to drive to the conditions and to the rules which were designed to keep everybody safe.

She had also been concerned after hearing reports from her staff that motorists were today still speeding, despite the wet weather.

"It's a little bit disappointing today that the guys are still apprehending people for speed and that's concerning given the change in weather conditions."

- NZ Herald

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