Footage of evasive action to avoid camper van alarms driver

A Five Rivers resident says watching dashcam footage of a close call she had with a rental van on Monday morning made her realise just how lucky she was.

Pam Nind, of East Dome Farms, was driving north on State Highway 6 at 11.45am to pick up her husband, David, from another farm.

A rental van forced a vehicle (circled) off the road. Photo: Supplied
A rental van forced a vehicle (circled) off the road. Photo: Supplied
She was travelling about 100kmh when one of four white camper vans, travelling in convoy, pulled in to her lane to overtake a truck at Parawa, just south of Athol.

''I thought, 'Holy hell, I'm going to have to button off here or I'm going to hit him', so I slowed right down, and then the second one pulled out; I couldn't believe it.''

Dashcam footage captured by Queenstown resident Robbie Howie, heading south at the time, showed the camper van overtake his vehicle, veer partly back in to the south-bound lane to avoid a collision with Mrs Nind, who had slowed to less than 70kmh, then continue to overtake a truck while approaching a corner, to rejoin the convoy.

Mrs Nind, meanwhile, slammed her brakes on and pulled her ute on to a gravel verge on her left.

''I braked so hard and stopped so fast that my truck actually stalled.

''I was going to pick my husband up at another farm and I had to get him to drive home because I was still shaking half an hour after that.

''Thank goodness there was no-one right behind me - I don't know what I would have done ... if I had a car following me; the way I had to pull off ... that could have been really bad.

''I knew it was close, but when I watched it [on the Otago Daily Times website yesterday], it scared me again.''

Mrs Nind, Mr Howie and two of his workmates all called *555 at the time, but it was the dashcam footage sent to Queenstown police yesterday that enabled police to track down the driver.

Sergeant Chris Brooks, of Queenstown, said he contacted Apollo Motorhome Holidays about the incident, provided a plate number and was told the driver was a Chinese national.

Apollo Motorhome Holidays rental marketing manager Tara Eller, of Australia, said the company took the ''safety of our guests and the public very seriously''.

''This is a police matter and we are working closely with them in this investigation.''

Sgt Brooks said police hoped to intercept the driver at Christchurch Airport yesterday afternoon.

Mrs Nind said she and her husband had lived at Five Rivers for a decade and over that time they had seen many close calls.

''Cars turn to Milford on the wrong side of the road, cars miss the turn-off and do a U-ey [U-turn] in front of cars coming from the other direction; we see it all.''

Sgt Brooks described the driving as ''shocking'' but said it was ''not unexpected for these roads''.

''They are busy [roads]; tourists are trying to reach their destinations in a hurry ... trying to fit in a number of ... sights.

''I've stopped people [who have been] trying to get from Mt Cook to Milford Sound in a day.

''We need more guys like Robbie to send that stuff in - for him to make that effort, it's great.''

tracey.roxburgh@odt.co.nz

 

Comments

I noticed that the first white van was actually very close to colliding with the oncoming vehicle as well. Innocent people are going to continue to be injured and killed. Dashcams have proven to be an invaluable tool in tracking poor driver behaviour