'Icebox' scene of two crashes

Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell (left) and Constable Phil Vink talk to the occupants of two vehicles which crashed in separate incidents, just minutes apart, after striking black ice on the Crown Range Rd yesterday. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell (left) and Constable Phil Vink talk to the occupants of two vehicles which crashed in separate incidents, just minutes apart, after striking black ice on the Crown Range Rd yesterday. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.

Two vehicle crashes occurred within minutes, and metres, of each other on the Crown Range Rd yesterday morning.

The accidents happened about 5km south of the Cardrona village and resulted in no serious injuries to either of the vehicles' occupants.

Wanaka sub-area commander Senior Sergeant Allan Grindell said the first crash happened about 9.25am, when a Toyota people-mover vehicle travelling from Queenstown to the Cardrona skifield hit black ice and rolled into a culvert.

Two of its occupants - from an Australian family of four - suffered minor cuts and bruises and the rear of the vehicle was extensively damaged.

Just five minutes later, two Auckland-based British women were travelling from Wanaka to Queenstown when their Mazda van hit black ice and skidded for about 50m before hitting the bank on the opposite side of the road.

Only minor damage was caused to the vehicle and the women escaped uninjured.

Snr Sgt Grindell said both motorists appeared to have been driving at a ''responsible'' speed and the accidents were a direct result of the treacherous conditions on a stretch of road commonly referred to by some locals as ''the icebox''.

Police would take no further action in either case.

An ambulance and fire engine attended the crashes but were not required.

- lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz