A driver turned right out of a pub carpark last night, drove
50 metres and ran a red light, crossed four lanes of traffic,
and smashed into a Christchurch house.
David Murphy had just been sitting on his bed moments
A decision to drop into his local library before it shut
probably saved his life.
"When I came back there was 30 people looking at a car inside
my flat," said the 52-year old invalid.
The driver, a man in his 50s, had been at Coasters Tavern on
Daniels Rd in the Redwood suburb of Christchurch before the
crash, witnesses told APNZ.
He appeared to have come out of the pub carpark, turned right
on to Daniels Rd, and gone through a red, across four lanes
of traffic, narrowly missing a traffic light pole, a sturdy
tree, before scything through a hedge, across a lawn, and
into the weatherboard council flat.
The car had ploughed so deep into the house that it had to be
winched out before emergency workers could try to free him.
The flat's wall had caved in, a large window smashed, and
bedroom and adjoining bathroom wrecked.
The driver was cut from the badly damaged car by firefighters
using the jaws of life.
He was taken to hospital with serious, but not
His passenger was "rather intoxicated" according to a police
officer at the scene, however, he was unhurt.
In fact, once his mate had been cut free from the wreck, the
passenger, with the aid of a walking stick, strolled back
into the tavern.
When a police officer at the scene was asked if alcohol
played a factor in the crash, he replied: "It's something we
will be looking at."
Mr Murphy, meanwhile, said he was "bloody lucky" to be alive.
"I could've been sitting there. He's hit it very hard. He's
lucky to be alive too."
Mr Murphy said he would now have to phone Christchurch City
Council and seek alternative accommodation.
"I can't sleep in there."
One neighbour said he was sitting in his bedroom when he
heard the sudden "bang".
"I just can't understand how he's managed it," he said.
Angela Howarth was driving to her home nearby when she was
nearly taken out by the car.
"I was very surprised. You don't expect to be going through a
green light and see someone coming straight at you," she
She managed to slow down and avoid the car before it crashed.
Mrs Howarth pulled over and phoned emergency services.
A police spokesman said they got the call at 7.37pm.