Public pitched in after wheelchair-user hit

Emergency services and members of the public at the scene of a crash at the corner of Oxford St and King Edward St. Photo: Linda Robertson
Emergency services and members of the public at the scene of a crash at the corner of Oxford St and King Edward St. Photo: Linda Robertson

Members of the public immediately pitched in to help before emergency services arrived, after an out-of-control utility vehicle seriously injured an electric wheelchair user in South Dunedin yesterday.

"It's just typical Dunedin community,'' an impressed woman motorist said about the strong community effort after the King Edward St crash.

It is understood that person in the wheelchair may have been on the footpath, near the Oxford St intersection, when the crash occurred, about 4.35pm.

The southbound vehicle knocked down a couple of posts on the incorrect side of the road and mounted the footpath before spinning backwards across the street and coming to rest, partly on the footpath on the correct side of the street.

"It's just people helping each other when the proverbial's hit the fan,'' she said.

Another motorist said she saw doctors and a nurse from the nearby medical centre rushing out to help immediately after the crash.

The first motorist, who asked not to be named, noticed that a woman volunteer was helping direct traffic at one intersection and "big burly men'' pitched in to do other tasks, including directing traffic, before police and firefighters arrived.

"There were a lot of people around, there were people directing traffic away from the scene.

"There was really quite a crowd.

"It's a pretty busy part of town.

"Obviously a lot of people had stopped to help."

The person in the wheelchair was taken to Dunedin Hospital after the crash, and was in critical condition. Photo: Linda Robertson
The person in the wheelchair was taken to Dunedin Hospital after the crash, and was in critical condition. Photo: Linda Robertson

She was impressed by "a typical community'' response.

The men were doing much of the initial traffic control work, and female volunteers were helping in other ways.

A couple of onlookers were distraught, and had burst into tears, and were being comforted by other women, she said.

The person in the wheelchair was taken to Dunedin Hospital after the crash, and was in critical condition.

A police spokeswoman later said she had no information about if police were considering the possibility of a medical event affecting the utility driver, and further details were not available.

A couple of street-side posts were either broken off or damaged in the crash.

Part of King Edward St remained closed off behind a police cordon late last night, with diversions in place.

The police Serious Crash Unit was at the scene, and the damaged utility vehicle was taken away for further examination. 

Add a Comment

 

xmas_banner_620_x_95.jpg

See more great gift ideas !   For Her  |  For Him  |  For Families  |  For Kids  | 

xmas_banner2.jpg