Emergency services clear Blackhead Rd where a car collided
with a horse early yesterday. Photos by Stephen Jaquiery.
Colin Tumaru is lucky to be alive after driving into a
horse which escaped its paddock and ran on to Blackhead Rd in
the dark yesterday.
Mr Tumaru (47) left his Green Island Bush Rd home about
6.50am and had driven about 900m on his way to work when he
suddenly saw the horse in front of him.
"You would expect to see something, driving up towards it
with lights on, but it was all of a sudden right in front of
me. It just happened so quickly - a bang and a thud and that
was it," he said.
The 21-year-old horse dented the driver's side of the front
of Mr Tumaru's car, smashing the windscreen and flattening
the roof above his head.
The driver's beanie remained pinned between the mangled car
roof and driver's seat, although he managed to walk away from
"My shoulder is a bit sore, but I think that's from the seat
belt. Otherwise, I just have a few scratches. I'm fine," he
Insurance would cover the vehicle damage, he said.
The horse died at the scene.
Colin Tumaru's beanie remains pinned between the car roof
and driver's seat after the crash.
Mr Tumaru estimated he was travelling about 80kmh when
the collision occurred.
Constable Charlotte Davies said the owner of the horse, a
Blackhead Rd resident, had spoken to police and apologised
for forgetting to close a gate on his property when he left
Const Davies said an electric fence around the horse paddock
was lying on the ground and it was possible the horse had
stepped over it.
Police would decide whether any action could or should be
taken against the horse's owner for allowing the animal to
Const Davies said officers at the scene were amazed by Mr
Tumaru's lack of injury.
"I'm very surprised he's alive, actually," she said.
A crane was used to remove the dead horse from the roadside.
Dunedin road policing manager Senior Sergeant Phil McDouall
said animals loose on the road were just one of many
unforeseen dangers about which motorists had to be mindful.