A feline passenger in a car which crashed in the Buller Gorge this morning ended up travelling by ambulance to Buller Hospital with its owner.

The owner, who was driving the car, suffered minor injuries.

Westport fire chief Alan Kennedy said they were called to a single-vehicle crash near Stitts Bluff about 6.45am.

A St John's paramedic was at the scene when firefighters arrived to help get the woman out from the driver's side. The job wasn't difficult and didn't require cutting gear, Kennedy said.


The driver had apparently lost control and hit a bank on the right-hand side of the road while heading up the gorge, then ended up on the grass verge on the left-hand side.

Kennedy said the driver was more concerned about her cat and asked if it could travel with her in the ambulance as she was taken to Buller Hospital for a checkup.

The cat ended up going with her in its cage, he said.

St John territory manager Robbie Blankenstein said a 46-year-old woman suffered minor injuries in the crash.

Blankenstein said the Greymouth rescue helicopter was activated but was stood down before becoming airborne, after advice from an intensive care paramedic who reached the scene before the ambulance.

- Westport News