Two German teenagers who were seriously injured when their
vehicle rolled in the Cromwell Gorge on Tuesday remained in
Dunedin Hospital yesterday, one in a serious condition in the
intensive care unit.
The tourists were the only occupants of a Nissan Serena
people-carrier and the crashed vehicle was inspected
yesterday by members of the police serious crash unit, Senior
Constable Phil Beckwith, of Cromwell, said. The 18-year-old
male driver was in a stable condition in the hospital's high
dependency unit last night, while his 19-year-old male
passenger was in a critical condition in the intensive care
From the eyewitness reports police had a '' clear-cut idea''
of what had happened, but the investigation was continuing,
Snr Const Beckwith said.
''We'd like to thank all those who were on the scene and
treated the men immediately after the crash, especially the
medical staff who offered their help. Getting the right
people there straight away was certainly needed, in the
initial stages especially.''
''An ambulance had been travelling in the same direction as
the vehicle [towards Clyde], just ahead of it, and the people
in the ambulance saw the accident unfold behind them, so
turned around and went back to help.''
Other off-duty medical staff were also in the ''right place
at exactly the right time to help'', he said.
''Both men received head injuries, so you have to think, the
earlier they got help, the better chance they had.''
The accident happened on State Highway 8, near Italian Creek,
8km from Clyde, just before 5pm on Tuesday and the road was
closed for two hours. Traffic was backed up for several
kilometres both sides of the accident site and Snr Const
Beckwith thanked the occupants of those vehicles for their
''It was inconvenient for a lot of people. Some were heading
home after work and some were holiday-makers in the area, but
we're grateful for their patience.''
Victim Support volunteers had offered their assistance to
those who witnessed the accident, as well as supporting the
victims in hospital, he said. Two rescue helicopters were
used to transport the seriously injured men to Dunedin
hospital. The passenger was airlifted from the accident site
and the driver was taken first by ambulance to Dunstan
Hospital and then flown to Dunedin by the Otago Regional