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Speaking out to save young lives

The overturned car on Papawai Rd after the 2010 crash which left Trevor Durry paralysed. PHOTO/FILE


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Trevor Durry doesn’t want other teenagers making the same “spur of the moment” decision which left him permanently paralysed from the waist down.

The former Kuranui College student was left with a severed spinal cord in 2010 after a lunchtime joyride with his friends on the notorious Papawai Rd ended in a high-speed crash.

Eight years on, the 25-year-old from Martinborough is sharing his story with Year 12 students around the region in hope it will help even one student think twice before getting in a car.

“I’m just trying get someone else to not make the dumb decisions I did,” he said.

Speaking at the Rotary Youth Driver Awareness Programme (RYDA) yesterday, Mr Durry was positive about the life he had created for himself since the accident – a new job at the Little Square Pizza in Martinborough and a successful six years of involvement with the Martinborough rugby club, including a coaching role last year.

But the message he delivered to students showed the stark reality of what can happen out on the road.

“I wouldn’t wish this upon anyone.”

Mr Durry retold the story of how he had decided to return to school after previously leaving for a job.

“It was my first day back and me and a few mates decided to leave school to go and get a feed,” he said.

They soon found themselves racing another car and travelling at 120kmh down Papawai Rd before their driver lost control, causing the car to slide and roll.

The driver was on a restricted licence, and Mr Durry was not wearing a seatbelt.

“I was the worst off,” he said.

The students were encouraged to ask questions about the accident to come up with their own strategies on how accidents such as his could be avoided.

Although he was a bit apprehensive about speaking in front of a large group, he was more than happy to share his experiences with others.

“I’m just trying to help one person give it a second thought and to speak up like some people in our car did — but it was too late for us.”

He admits the changes in his life means he will “always be at a disadvantage” but doesn’t let it affect his outlook on life.

He casually described his situation as “a bit of a pain in the ass really”.

“I just smiled and got on with it.”

Mr Durry will continue to deliver his message to students throughout the week as part of a series of practical workshops which challenge students to change the way they think about road safety and lay the foundation for safe road use throughout their lives.


  1. Trev.. start your own youtube show & brand it ‘Cripps Adventres’ do film clips of you & your mate hunting togeather- blows me way you do that!. You are amazing. when are we going fishing again??? cheers

  2. Onya Trevor…I was young once too and God only knows how many dumb, spur-of-the-moment decisions I made. You turned a real “pain in the arse” negative into a beautiful and heartwarming lesson for our young, one I dearly hope the will take away with them….let’s hope too it’s one they need never have to call on. Thanks Trevor 🙂

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