The only woman involved in a quad bike crash which left a
little girl in critical condition says she was sober and has
been pressured into taking the blame because of that.
Four adults and 6-year-old Ashlee Shorrock were on the quad
bike when it crashed down a ditch on Okaihau Rd near
Waimarama Beach in Hawke's Bay shortly before midnight on
Twenty-two-year-old Stephanie Lucas is the first of those
involved to break her silence.
She told the Herald on Sunday she couldn't remember who was
driving but claimed the three men with her had asked her to
tell police she was driving because she was the only one who
had not been drinking.
"I wasn't intoxicated," Lucas said. "I had one drink all day.
All I remember is one of the boys was driving. I know what we
did was stupid but we are always on that motorbike and have
driven that road thousands of times."
Police have confirmed they took blood from all four adults on
the night of the crash, but had not been able to confirm who
Lucas believed the driver should own up. "I can't remember.
If I did I would tell the police.
But they know who was driving and someone needs to own up,"
Lucas said she was sitting on the front of the quadbike
holding her step-daughter Ashlee when they were thrown from
Ashlee's father, Daniel McGregor, and his two friends Kevin
and Reece, whose surnames are yet to be released, were also
on the bike. She said they had been drinking on the beach
before driving up to a lookout shortly before midnight.
"I didn't want to go. When we went past the house I asked
them to stop and let me off so I could put Ash to bed. But
they said we would only be five minutes. I regret that. We
should have got off," Lucas said.
"We were on the way back down the hill when we crashed. We
went right when we should have gone left on a bend on a
broken, steep road.
"I took the full force of the fall to protect her. I have
track marks on my back from the bike going right over me. If
I hadn't been holding her I think it could have been a lot
worse. All I remember is waking up with Ashlee between my
legs. It was so scary I can still hear her screaming," she
Lucas had a broken jaw and a severed little finger which had
been stitched back on.
"I look like the walking dead. They had to cut my face open
to get the stones out. I just want my baby with me. I love
that little girl. I would never do anything to hurt her. I'm
mum. I have been there for her."
She has been a step-mother to Ashlee since she started a
relationship with Daniel six years ago.
Ashlee was taken to Starship Children's Hospital in a
critical condition on Thursday but is now stable in the
intensive care unit.
She has five broken ribs, a broken arm, broken collar bone
and had been in an induced coma.
"She is awake now. There is nothing wrong with her brain."
Lucas and a 29-year-old man were discharged from Hawke's Bay
Hospital yesterday, and a 20-year-old man is in a stable
Ashlee's maternal grandmother, Nancy Dunnage, said her
daughter Sara was on her way to Auckland to visit Ashlee in
"We're just waiting to hear how she is," she said.
Daniel McGregor's uncle, Steve Petrowski, said his nephew had
been transferred to Middlemore Hospital after losing feeling
in his legs.
"It's very worrying. He has two broken legs and a broken
pelvis. We are just waiting to hear how the wee girl is
doing," he said. McGregor had spent seven hours in surgery to
fix his legs.
Lucas' father Stephen was angry the focus had been on his
"Steph had only one drink earlier in the day but the other
three were pretty well nuked from what I gather," he said.
"It could have been a morgue I was visiting today."
- By Joanne Carroll of the Herald on Sunday