A witness has described how a woman's broken leg was so bent it looked like a staircase after an empty van rolled backwards and hit her and another pedestrian at a crossing in the central business district yesterday.
The accident happened at 12.30pm at the Wyndham St/Albert St intersection outside the Shakespeare Tavern.
At the same time as pedestrians outside the pub heard the signal to cross towards the downhill side of Wyndham St, a Toyota Hiace that had been parked on the upper side of the street slowly rolled backwards in an arc, hitting the two women, a police spokesman said.
While most pedestrians jumped out of the way, the van hit the traffic lights and pinned the two women against a traffic-control box.
An Asian woman was treated for minor injuries. The other middle-aged woman was left with a broken leg. Late yesterday afternoon, she underwent surgery at Auckland City Hospital.
A witness said it was a gruesome sight.
"I can tell you it was multi-angular. It looked like staircases from David Bowie's movie Labyrinth. It was a weird accident."
Constable Charles Kim said the driver claimed he had parked the van, which belonged to audiovisual company ProVision Technologies, and walked towards an Albert St address.
He realised something was wrong when he heard a bang and screaming.
The women lay in the glass from the van's shattered back window as ambulance staff treated them.
Mr Kim said police investigations would include looking at CCTV footage from the intersection.
He said the vehicle had been seized so tests could be carried out, especially on the handbrake.
ProVision Technologies managing director Tony Crump said his staff member was in shock.
"He's very, very upset. We're just really waiting to see what we can do to do the right thing."