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Police were ‘‘appalled'' by the behaviour of a 63-year-old Dunedin woman who they believe almost caused a fatal car crash just north of Hampden on Wednesday night.
Sergeant Tony Woodbridge, of Oamaru, said two motorists independently called police about 7pm on Wednesday to report a woman was driving erratically before she headed into the Hampden township and they tried to follow the woman's vehicle.
The driver crossed the centre line three or four times and her speed changed radically to the point that she stopped her car in the middle of the road at one stage before driving off again, Sgt Woodbridge said.
As the woman headed out of Hampden, she crossed the centre line into the path of a southbound truck and trailer unit.
The truck driver took evasive action and swerved to the left, but the woman's car collided with the trailer unit, bounced off and came to a stop, he said.
When members of the public went to the woman's aid, she said she was all right but drunk, Sgt Woodbridge said.
Police found an empty wine bottle on the front passenger seat.
They believed the woman was driving and drinking from Dunedin to the point of the crash and were ‘‘extremely appalled at these actions and very disappointed it has occurred''.
‘‘We believe if it wasn't for the actions of the truck driver there would have been a fatal crash.''There were no injuries and the driver was taken to Oamaru Hospital for observation.
Sgt Woodbridge said there had been fatal crashes in the area in the past.
Police were waiting on the results of a blood sample from the woman to see what role alcohol played in the crash.
Inquiries into the incident were continuing.