A woman has died after being
struck by a reversing car whose driver wedged her jandal
between the brake and accelerator, police say.
The 53-year-old woman was struck in Whangarei's Rurumoki St,
near Mair Park, about 3.30pm on Sunday as she walked on the
She was taken to Whangarei Hospital by ambulance but could
not be saved.
Rurumoki St residents have become increasingly concerned
about the parking congestion in their small street which is
the gateway to Mair Park and walking tracks over Mt Parihaka.
As well as families, recreational and sporting users, it has
become increasingly popular with businesses operating fitness
It is unclear whether congestion was a factor in Sunday's
accident, in which a car is believed to have accelerated in
Road policing Senior Sergeant John Fagan said a woman's Honda
vehicle had become stuck after its front wheels rolled over a
kerb. Members of the public helped her push the car out.
As the car gained traction it sped backwards.
Police say the driver tried to brake but her jandal became
wedged between the brake and accelerator pedals.
The car collided with the woman, and pinned her against
another parked car. Police are investigating the crash and
whether charges will be laid.
A Rurumoki St resident, who has lived in the street for 28
years, heard a scream and knew immediately what had happened.
She rushed out and saw a woman on the road and called for an
An off-duty nurse and paramedic were among the people first
to help the woman before an ambulance arrived.
‘‘It's a beautiful park and asset to Whangarei. Parking's out
of control now with all the exercise groups and people coming
to walk and run after work," the resident said.
Quite often she was unable to leave the property as people
had parked cars on the footpath and on the grass berm in the
middle of the road while attending fitness classes in the
Other residents were concerned that if there was an emergency
that required a fire truck at a busy period at the park the
appliance would be unable to reach them due to the number of
cars parked on the edge of the road and footpath.
Whangarei District Council is not planning on adding more
parking in the near future.
Group manager infrastructure and services, Simon Weston said
there were no parking restrictions in the street, as long as
there was adequate room to pass.
‘‘The street has formal, designated carparks and is a
designated slow street with a series of road humps to keep
traffic speeds down.
‘‘At the top of Rurumoki St there are a few formal carparks
at the centre of the road," Mr Weston said.
The council permitted parking on the grass where it could be
accessed, as long as it was safe and the parking did not
cause excessive damage to the berm.
Mr Weston said businesses using the park for fitness classes
did not need a permit to operate.
However, that was being reviewed.
- By Kristin Edge
of the Northern Advocate