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Thread: Low Speed Crash Kills 3 Brits In Christchurch

  1. #1
    Kazz is offline Junior Member
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    Default Low Speed Crash Kills 3 Brits In Christchurch

    Survivor of crash leaves hospital | Stuff.co.nz

    &

    BBC NEWS | UK | England | Three Britons die in New Zealand

    An English grandfather who survived the Christchurch crash that killed three members of his family has left hospital, distraught that such a low speed crash could claim three lives.

    Geoff Eades was driving the car that hit a power pole in south New Brighton on Wednesday night, only 2km from where the group was staying.

    Police say fatigue was probably the cause of the accident and that the car was probably travelling only between 35kmh and 40kmh.

    However, the impact killed Mr Eades' wife Sera, 60, their three-year-old granddaughter Iva Harper, and cousin Valerie Bryan, 68. All were from Derbyshire.

    They were in the country just three days and visiting a sick relative in hospital.

    Eades' brother, Christchurch photographer John McCombe, said Eades, a software expert, was inconsolable.

    This morning he returned to McCombe's house, where the group had been staying.

    He was in some discomfort with a broken ankle, serious bruising, broken ribs and a punctured lung.

    McCombe told NZPA the hospital care was superb but Eades was isolated from his family and the hospital agreed that with their assistance he could receive the same standard of care at home.

    Eades was ''being very strong'' about the accident that killed his wife, granddaughter and cousin.

    ''He is just wondering why. How does this happen when you are doing 35kmh in a car where airbags went off and you were wearing seatbelts?

    ''It's a huge wake-up call for everybody. The circumstances plot against you _ how a trivial thing can turn into something as disastrous as this.''

    Funeral arrangements had not yet been confirmed but it was probable Mrs Bryan's body would be returned to England, McCombe said.

    There was a suggestion Iva could be buried near her grandparents in the Wairarapa but there were some cultural sensitivities around where Mrs Eades would be buried, as she was Fijian.

    However, that would hopefully be sorted out during a family conference, McCombe said.

    ''At this time our prime objective is to get Geoffrey mentally and physically stable.''

    McCombe said that before the accident the visitors had been ferried to the hospital to see his and Eades' ill mother.

    ''On the three previous days we had taken them or they had caught the bus,'' he told The Press.

    ''But yesterday (Wednesday), my elderly father said, 'Why don't you take my car?'

    ''So they spent the day visiting the hospital, but the combination of jet lag, no sleep and stress has come together. They hit the pole. No one else was involved.''

    McCombe said he was ''stunned by the dedication of emergency services''.

    ''They were trying to save lives when it looked like all hope was gone. They treated us with huge dignity and skill.''

    McCombe said family, including three-year-old Iva's mother and father, caught flights to New Zealand yesterday.

    Detective Sergeant Andrew Fabish, of the New Brighton police, said he had not dealt with a case this tragic for a long time.

    "It's absolutely horrible," he said. "Good people obeying all the rules.

    "They were wearing seatbelts, but the lamp-post doesn't move and a car weighs over a tonne. That's a lot of force.

    "We all know how bad fatigue can be, but you don't have to be going at breakneck speed for the consequences to be really tragic."

    Latest figures from the Ministry of Transport show fatigue was a factor in 48 fatal traffic crashes, 130 serious-injury accidents and 554 minor-injury crashes in 2007. These crashes resulted in 54 deaths, 188 serious injuries and 798 minor injuries.

    The ministry's website describes fatigue as a physiological condition that can occur long before the driver falls asleep at the wheel.

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    What a dreadful thing to have to live with. One of those 'If only....' situations.
    Mother Bear

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  3. #3
    People Space's Avatar
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    This is an unbelievable tragedy.
    A plea to all those who do come and drive here: get some rest before tackling the roads.
    14% of fatal road crashes in NZ are caused by driver fatigue.

  4. #4
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    I'll just slip this in here as it's on a similar theme.

    Biggest killers on our roads revealed
    4:00AM Monday Sep 21, 2009
    By Mathew Dearnaley


    Speed is the biggest killer on New Zealand roads, says the Ministry of Transport. File photo / Alan Gibson

    Speed is the biggest killer on New Zealand's roads, and young people and motorcyclists are the leading casualties, Ministry of Transport research shows.

    It puts the proportion of deaths from speed-related crashes at 34.7 per cent of the road toll - a five-year high.

    Young people remain first in the firing line - 15- to 24-year-olds were 32 per cent of last year's 366 road deaths, despite holding 12.6 per cent of licences.

    That group had 117 deaths and accounted for 4946 of the 15,174 road injuries reported to the Transport Agency - 32.6 per cent of the total.

    Motorcyclists and pillion passengers were also disproportionately represented, with 50 deaths, the worst toll for ten years.

    More here.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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