Experienced emergency service personnel say a crash involving
a relocating house which claimed the life of a woman
yesterday morning was one of the worst they've seen.
The woman was killed instantly when her car smashed into the
house, which was being carried on the back of an oncoming
wide-load truck. The top half of the car was effectively
ripped off after the vehicle went under the house and came to
rest a good 100 metres away from the truck.
The crash occurred on State Highway 1 at Winslow about
10.45am and emergency services raced to help, but the woman
died at the scene.
Police are yet to name the woman - the sole occupant of the
car - as her next of kin are still being informed.
Ashburton Volunteer Fire Brigade deputy chief fire officer
Graeme Baker said it was one of the worst crashes he'd come
across in almost 50 years as a volunteer firefighter.
"It's certainly not a pleasant one at all," he said.
Firefighters could do little apart from disconnect the car's
battery when they arrived, and were called back to wash down
the road early yesterday afternoon once the scene was
cleared, so the road could be reopened.
Traffic was diverted down Boundary Road while the police
serious crash unit and commercial vehicle investigation unit
investigated, but the road was reopened by evening.
Police said the truck and trailer the woman hit was
transporting a house south on SH1 and it was accompanied by
pilot vehicles at front and rear.
Investigations into how the crash occurred are continuing.
Ashburton police spent the afternoon speaking to witnesses,
and have appealed for the driver of a green Subaru station
wagon, seen driving south through the area just prior to the
crash, to contact their nearest police station. They believe
that person may be able to help with their enquiries.
- By Erin Tasker of the Ashburton Guardian