Silvio Kors feels he was lucky to escape harm when the
lamp-post crashed on to his ute. Photo / Christine Cornege.
Silvio Kors' first concern after hearing a loud bang and
seeing his windscreen crack while driving was that he'd hit
But when the terrified motorist pulled over, he found a
lamp-post had crashed down on to his ute before bouncing off
the bonnet and on to the road.
As he walked back to the scene, two young men -- who had been
travelling behind him on SH2 near Papamoa -- were hauling the
lamp-post off the busy road.
"I didn't see [anything]. It gave me a hell of a fright," Mr
Kors said. "My first thought was if I had hit someone -- had
a person, a drunk or someone, stumbled on to the middle of
the road? And my second thought was a cow ... ".
When the Papamoa builder went to have a better look the next
day, he saw that the bottom of the street light, which is
bolted on to a metal plate in the ground, was rusty. He
believed it may have been weakened by the storm on July 9.
Mr Kors said it would have been a very different story if the
lamp-post had crashed directly on his windscreen, or if he
hadn't been in the right-hand lane to turn into Bell Rd.
The bonnet of his ute was dented, the windscreen cracked and
there was a hole between the windscreen and the bonnet.
After the crash Mr Kors contacted InRoads, which is
contracted by the NZ Transport Agency to manage and maintain
the local roads and state highways, and was told to file a
claim with his insurance company. The Ford Courier ute was
written off, as the cost of repairing it was more than the
$2800 it was insured for.
Although Mr Kors felt he shouldn't have to pay a $300 excess
for something that was not his fault, he was more concerned
about other potentially dangerous lamp-posts.
He also wanted to warn other drivers.
"... I haven't even had an apology."
A spokeswoman for NZTA said the agency had met Mr Kors and
was examining the fallen lamp post, the ground conditions in
the surrounding area, as well as reviewing the weather
conditions on the day.
NZTA said such incidents were rare as street lights were
inspected every year and the agency worked with insurers on
each case. Insurance Council insurance manager John Lucas
said policy holders were liable to pay excess unless somebody
else was found to be negligent.