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Disaster around the bend


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An 84-year-old Masterton woman’s garden fence was the casualty of speeding “rat bags” who ploughed into it in the early hours of Saturday morning.

But the property, on the corner where Pownall St turns into Villa St, has been a magnet for crashes because of speeding vehicles over the years.

While the Masterton District Council has made alternations to the road, accidents continue to happen.

Sue Hunter, a retired nurse, was asleep when her white picket front fence was smashed into shortly before 6am on Saturday.

This is the second incident of its kind in the 13 years she has been living in her Villa St home.

“It concerns me that if they had been going faster, they would have gone into my bedroom,” Mrs Hunter said.

Her bedroom is located at the front right of the house.

Mrs Hunter said it was the drivers who speed coming around the corner — “get rid of the ratbags”, she said.

Police told her that the car they believe crashed into her fence was stolen from an elderly couple who had it parked at Wairarapa Hospital.

The car was later found abandoned on Opaki Rd, she said.

The sweeping corner that is the cause of many crashes. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

Mrs Hunter’s daughter, Sally Hunter, is concerned about the behaviour of the drivers that she sees speeding around that corner regularly.

“She has been there for 13 years, this is the second time and both times has been just young thugs that drive off,” she said.

Sally said in the time her mother, who is a ratepayer, has lived there, the council “have done nothing”.

“There is a history . . . people obviously don’t adhere to the [speed limit].”

“She is elderly and is in her twilight years and she shouldn’t have to deal with it.”

She took to Facebook to share her concerns about the safety of the corner she called a “disaster waiting to happen”.

Angela Hansen has lived on the street for 36 years and has seen Mrs Hunter’s fence and two neighbouring properties “destroyed by speeders”.

Another woman who owned Mrs Hunter’s property from 1988 to 1997 said in the first five years of living there, there was an accident each year, one resulting in death.

Others suggest the council should put in speed bumps or guard rails. They said it needed to be fixed because “it’s lethal in the wet”.

MDC assets and operations manager David Hopman said the council was aware of problems in the past with drivers taking the corner too fast.

“We’ve made a number of improvements including reshaping the road, correcting the adverse camber, introducing a new planted island and installing high friction seal in 2008.”

While the modifications had decreased the number of accidents, the root of the problem was the “poor driving at high speed”.

Police received a report of a silver vehicle that hit a fence then drive off at about 5.50am on Saturday, a police spokesperson said.


  1. Speed bumps would be the best solution. They have these everywhere in hamilton, a few streets have them 3 or 4 in a row especially on corners such as this one.it stops the speeds freaks trying to fly over just one bump.

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