Charlotte Christie fears driving along the winding Gisborne-to-Wairoa road after writing off her car in a pile-up on a blind bend in which another motorist lost an arm.

Although the young Gisborne mother and natural health therapist escaped unhurt, she was badly shaken and is wary of the road these days on trips back to her childhood home on the Mahia Peninsula.

She was heading north to Gisborne several years ago on the difficult stretch of State Highway 2 over the Wharerata Hills, and rounding a corner on her descent from the summit when she hit a car whose driver had stopped to help a seriously injured woman in an upturned SUV.

"I wasn't speeding but I had to slam on my brakes and ended up losing control - although I'm sure there was diesel on the road, which is possibly why she [the SUV driver] crashed as well."


Ms Christie, 23, said she narrowly avoided plunging over a cliff on the other side of the road, when her car spun around and saved her by smashing instead into a bank.

An ambulance was quickly on the scene, but she understood the SUV driver's arm had to be amputated later in hospital.

She said her concern about the road had heightened with an increasing prevalence of logging trucks, from which she constantly tried to keep her distance. "The logging trucks are very dangerous and using the roads all the time - I am very careful using that road."