Woman killed in horrific crash

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

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