An Eketahuna farmer's wife was seriously injured in a two-car crash yesterday.

Ethel Rutherford, 70, of Nireaha, had to be cut from her Toyota Echo and flown to Palmerston North hospital by rescue helicopter after a collision with a rural delivery contractor's vehicle at the intersection of South Road No 2 and Parkville Road, in rural Eketahuna, about 10am.

Rural contractor Kevin Walker, who was part way through his mail and newspaper delivery run, escaped significant injury.

The alarm was raised after two farm workers removing old tyres from a silage stack nearby heard the noise of the crash.


Farmer Paul Morriss, who owns the paddock where the two badly smashed vehicles landed after crashing through a fence, also heard the impact and telephoned emergency services before making his way to the crash scene with a fire extinguisher.

Eketahuna fire chief Max Mayer said a crew using the jaws of life cutting equipment had to take the roof of Mrs Rutherford's vehicle off, and slice through the side panels to free her.

Mr Mayer said he believed the trapped woman, who had been travelling along South Road No 2, had remained conscious throughout.

Once she was extracted from the wrecked car Mrs Rutherford was stabilised by St John ambulance staff before being flown to hospital.

A police serious crash unit was on the scene yesterday and is investigating the circumstances of the crash.