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Behind the headlines, crash victim speaks out

Two people who have been impacted by the actions of a driver of a stolen car who ploughed into another vehicle in Masterton after fleeing from police have spoken to the Times-Age about the incident, its aftermath, and how it has affected them.

On Sunday night, Tori Kawana was driving with her six-year-old daughter Violet in the passenger seat beside her when the side of their car was smashed into by the fleeing vehicle.

Kawana said that the event was traumatising, especially for her daughter.

“We were on Colombo Rd getting ready to turn right onto Church St when the car came out of nowhere and hit us on the left-hand side,” Kawana said.

“The car was travelling so fast with no lights on, and I didn’t see it until it started flipping.

“My daughter was sleeping at the time but was woken up with a big fright.”

Kawana said the crash is giving her nightmares, and she is worried it could happen again but is trying to be strong for her daughter.

She also talked about the toll the crash is taking on her daughter and how she no longer wants to get into a car.

“She can’t sleep; she wakes up in the middle of the night screaming no, no, no,” Kawana said.

“She starts crying when she sees the car, and it takes her a while to get into it when we go to the supermarket.”

Kawana wanted to remind people to think about their actions when they get behind the wheel of a car.

“It’s not for me; it’s for my daughter, who is scared and terrified – I want people to think before they get behind the wheel,” she said.

Tori’s mother Cheri Kawana also spoke to the Times-Age about the crash.

She said she was at a family dinner in Carterton when she received a call from her daughter, who screaming down the phone.

When Cheri Kawana arrived at the scene of the crash, she said she “saw the whole passenger side of the car had ripped off, and the offender had shunted my daughter’s car a few houses down”.

“My daughter was being treated by ambulance staff and was quite shaken up; okay but shaken up.”

Witnesses told Cheri Kawana that the alleged perpetrator had been seen running down Bannister St where he was hiding on a property, and shortly afterwards she saw police officers apprehending him.

She wants nothing more than to see the offender brought to justice for his crimes, including compensating her daughter for the damage
to her uninsured car.

“I want him to pay for the damage even If it takes him 20 years to do so,” she said.

The fleeing driver chose not to enter a plea when he had his first appearance at court on Monday.

Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie
Freddie Wilkie is a journalist at the Wairarapa Times-Age; originally moving from Christchurch, he is interested in housing stories as well as covering emergencies and crime.

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