Tourists' camper teeters on bridge


The Eyre River bridge, near Oxford in North Canterbury, earlier today after a Maui campervan...
The Eyre River bridge, near Oxford in North Canterbury, earlier today after a Maui campervan driven by a tourist ploughed through the side of the one-lane bridge leaving the front half of the vehicle hanging above the riverbed. PHOTO: SHELLEY TOPP
Two Chinese tourists had a frightening start to day three of their New Zealand holiday on Saturday when their Maui campervan crashed on the Eyre River Bridge near Oxford in North Canterbury.

The crash happened, near the Oxford Reserve Camping Ground around 12.30pm when the campervan smashed through a the one-lane bridge parapet leaving the front of the vehicle hanging precariously above the riverbed below.

The husband and wife were not injured in the crash but the woman, who was driving the vehicle, told North Canterbury News the accident had left them both in deep shock.

She said they had planned an 11-day tour of New Zealand but they were uncertain now whether they would continue their holiday and she did not want to comment further. 

The bridge was closed soon after the accident which was attended by Police and  Fire and Emergency crews. Road blocks were established either side of the bridge with motorists directed to take a detour around the crash scene.

Police Canterbury Rural area manager-prevention Senior Sergeant Anna Lloyd said the bridge was likely to be closed for some time as removing the vehicle was going to be difficult and the bridge also had to be checked structurally to ensure it was safe to reopen.

- Shelley Topp, North Canterbury News