Tourists airlifted to hospital

Three Danish tourists were airlifted to Southland Hospital with suspected whiplash after their car hit a tree on State Highway 94 near the Homer Tunnel on Thursday afternoon.

Senior Constable Andy Grant, of Te Anau, said the driver of the car (21) lost control of a rented Toyota station wagon, in which a man and woman, both aged 21, were passengers, about 5km past the Homer Tunnel on the way to Milford Sound.

Police thanked passing motorists for their help at the scene and a foreign doctor, who provided roadside medical assistance.

St John Te Anau paramedics and the Milford Sound Emergency Team arrived shortly after and the Te Anau-based Southern Lakes helicopter transported the trio to Southland Hospital with suspected whiplash and shoulder injuries. They have since been discharged.

• Te Anau police have branded the actions of a person or persons who chained a boulder to a digger and left it dangling from the machine as "stupidity".

Snr Const Grant said three men aged in their early 20s were seen about 8.30pm on Wednesday night near a Downer EDI digger in Milford Sound village. Someone is also understood to have interfered with an EDI bulldozer at a site 1km out of Milford Sound overnight on Wednesday.

Police suspect whoever chained the rock to the digger was drunk and knew how to operate the machine.

"It was a despicable act because those diggers do a grand job of maintaining the Milford road to keep it open for tourists and the public alike."

Snr Const Grant urged anyone who saw any suspicious behaviour overnight Wednesday to contact Te Anau police on (03) 2497600.

- matt.stewart@odt.co.nz

 

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