A Waiuku woman thought she was “a goner” when a tanker hit her car and it crashed into a two-metre-deep ditch in the Waikato.
The woman claimed the truck did not stop after hitting her, leaving her trapped.
“I couldn’t get out of the car and was holding the horn for help. Owen Veltman and Peter [Stichbury] stopped and helped me get out,” she said.
“It’s the most horrific thing I’ve ever experienced. I can’t thank you guys enough. You guys are amazing.”
Police received a report of a crash at the intersection of Hill and Goodwin Rds in Aka Aka, about 4km from Waiuku.
Veltman told the Herald he and Stichbury found the “busted” car with its horn “blaring away” and stopped to help the driver out.
“[We] thought it was an old wreck but realised the horn was blaring away so figured someone must still be inside,” Veltman said.
“[The ditch] swallowed the van whole.”
Veltman denied being a hero, instead joking it was his friend Stichbury.
“[I] wouldn’t say hero though, [we] just helped out. We were happy to help.
“She was pretty shook up. [It] didn’t look too serious, but the van was fully on its side. [Her] dog looked scared s***less, but other than that,” Veltman said.
“I mean, [it] wouldn’t have been an enjoyable experience.”
Veltman didn’t see the crash happen but did see the tanker pulling into a driveway in the distance.
He said Stichbury’s sister drove after the truck and told the driver what had happened. The driver went back to the scene and made a report to his employer, Veltman said.
“He drove off because he thought she drove out of [the crash] okay. [He] came back and checked out what happened though.
“But he should’ve stopped and checked. He knew he hit her but he stopped just past the intersection and couldn’t see the whole way down the road.
“He reckoned he saw a van driving off in the distance so assumed she had ... driven off,” Veltman said.
He said it appeared the truck had shunted the woman’s car and she had overcorrected to avoid a power pole and landed in the ditch.
“It was a big ditch, like, when standing on the road you could step onto the driver’s door. Good thing there was no water [in it].
Police said there were no reports of injuries.