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Driver saved from flames

A driver who crashed on Bidwills Cutting Rd is lucky to be alive after being hauled out of the passenger door mere minutes before her van erupted in flames.

Emergency services responded to a call for assistance at around 11.30am yesterday morning after a car had veered off the road and subsequently caught on fire.

Police confirmed it was a single-vehicle crash, and a spokesperson said one person was reported to have sustained serious injuries.

A spokesperson for Fire and Emergency NZ [Fenz] said crew from Martinborough and Greytown attended, along with a water tanker from Carterton.

South Wairarapa District Council councillor Martin Bosley happened to be driving by shortly after the crash took place, and slowed down as he neared the van and other people who had pulled over to help.

He said the van already had smoke pouring out.

“As I pulled up alongside it, I could see there was a woman trapped inside with the driver’s door stuck, and two guys were trying to help her get out.”

With the driver’s door concaved in and refusing to open, Bosely said he and the others managed to open the passenger door and drag the driver out that way.

Only minutes after managing to get her out, Bosely said the vehicle was engulfed in fire.

“The fire took hold, and it was like something out of Hollywood,” Bosely said.

“This thing went boom, and it just exploded with burning rubber and that sort of thing.”

Although the driver was removed from the car before the flames took hold, Bosley said her injuries seemed significant.

“There was blood everywhere. She was bleeding badly from cuts on her head and elsewhere,” Bosley said.

“We bandaged up her hands so she couldn’t see what they looked like, because it wasn’t very attractive.

“She was in an absolute state of shock.”

Wellington Free Ambulance confirmed that they attended the crash, and transported the driver in serious condition to Wellington Hospital.

The driver was an employee of cleaning service Supercare New Zealand Limited and had been driving a work van.

Supercare owner and managing director Ian Kebbell said they were working through internal processes and the current priority was about looking after their employee.

“Our primary concern at this stage is supporting our work colleague and providing all the care, support and assistance we can.”

Worksafe had been notified.

Police said the road was blocked for a short time and that it was not likely that there would be an investigation into the crash. crash took place, and slowed down as he neared the van and other people who had pulled over to help.

He said the van already had smoke pouring out.

“As I pulled up alongside it, I could see there was a woman trapped inside with the driver’s door stuck, and two guys were trying to help her get out.”

With the driver’s door concaved in and refusing to open, Bosely said he and the others managed to open the passenger door and drag the driver out that way.

Only minutes after managing to get her out, Bosely said the vehicle was engulfed in fire.

“The fire took hold, and it was like something out of Hollywood,” Bosely said.

“This thing went ‘boom’, and it just exploded with burning rubber and that sort of thing.”

Although the driver was removed from the car before the flames took hold, Bosley said her injuries seemed significant.

“There was blood everywhere. She was bleeding badly from cuts on her head and elsewhere,” Bosley said.

“We bandaged up her hands so she couldn’t see what they looked like, because it wasn’t very attractive.

“She was in an absolute state of shock.”

Wellington Free Ambulance confirmed that they attended the crash, and transported the driver in serious condition to Wellington Hospital.

The driver was an employee of cleaning service Supercare New Zealand Limited and had been driving a work van.

Supercare owner and managing director Ian Kebbell said the company is working through internal processes and the current priority is about looking after their employee.

“Our primary concern at this stage is supporting our work colleague and providing all the care, support and assistance we can.”

Worksafe had been notified.

Police said the road was blocked for a short time and that it is unlikely that there will be an investigation into the crash.  

Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary
Bella Cleary is a reporter at the Wairarapa Times-Age, originally hailing from Wellington. She is interested in social issues and writes about the local arts and culture scene.

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