Slipping and sliding in the ice

Panelbeaters and a tow company were busy ''mopping up'' wreckage in Dunedin yesterday after vehicles slid on black ice.

 

 

Reilly's Towage and Salvage owner Robert Williams said the black ice on Dunedin roads yesterday had made for a ''busy'' day.

The work often took longer than expected, he said.

''With black ice around like that, the jobs take longer and you can feel like you're under more pressure ... We've had cars over banks, cars that have rolled .., and there was a big crash on the Northern Motorway.''

Southern District Command Centre deployment co-ordinator Senior Sergeant Craig Brown said police were called to a crash on the Northern Motorway about 8.10am, when a ute slid on ice and crashed into the front of an RD Petroleum tanker, near the summit of the Northern Motorway, close to the Leith Valley Rd intersection.

No-one was injured and no petroleum was spilt, he said.

Then a Ford Falcon which had stopped behind the tanker was hit from behind by an Atomic Travel shuttle bus, which was carrying seven passengers.

A St John spokesman said a woman on the bus suffered a minor hand injury and was taken to Dunedin Hospital.

New Zealand Transport Agency coastal Otago maintenance contract manager Nick Rodger said more-than-adequate grit and de-icing chemicals had been used on the Northern Motorway.

''We did everything we could do.''

Snr Sgt Brown said the top of the motorway was blocked for about an hour.

Black ice was a factor in other crashes in Dunedin, including a car rolling on Portobello Rd, near the Cove, about 6.40am yesterday and a car sliding off Brighton Rd about 6.55am.

Both cars had no passengers and the drivers were uninjured, he said.

''They were shaken, and a bit cold, but reasonably lucky.''

Another crash without injuries occurred at Dunrobin St about 8.40am.

''There may have only been one crash up there but there were a number of vehicles that were stuck and couldn't go anywhere, including a fire truck that attended the scene and struggled to get up the hill.''

In icy conditions, motorists needed to drive to the conditions and carefully monitor following distances.

Otago Corrections Facility manager Jack Harrison said a Corrections van carrying three prisoners on Leith Valley Rd became stuck in snow yesterday morning after attempting to avoid an oncoming vehicle.

Corrections staff and prisoners in the van were uninjured, the van was undamaged and the prisoners were contained at all times, Mr Harrison said.

The van was towed by a grader and reached its destination without further incident.

Bridgman Street Panelbeaters and Spray Painters owner Brent Johnston said his South Dunedin was ''consistently busy'' yesterday, but he expected to be busier from today because customers usually brought in damaged vehicles in the days after a crash.

shawn.mcavinue@odt.co.nz

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