Work Crew Saves Driver From Sinking Car

Police are praising the actions of two lines company workers who saved a motorist stuck in rising floodwaters south of Rotorua today.

With a number of roads across the country affected by heavy rainfall, Police are urging all drivers to take care, saying this particular incident shows how quickly things can go wrong.

At 1pm today (21 May), the driver called emergency services, saying she was stuck inside her car on a flooded patch on Waikaukau Road at Ngakuru. The vehicle floated into deeper water and then started sinking.

The driver was unable to open the doors or windows and told the Police emergency communicator that the water was up to her chest and still rising. The call taker stayed on the line with the woman as units, a helicopter and swift water rescue team were deployed.

Thankfully, a lines crew saw the incident unfold and came to the driver’s aid; the two workers jumped into the water and smashed the window to pull the driver to safety.

Minutes later, the driver was safe, but her vehicle was submerged to its roof, a short distance from where the road dipped into the water.

“We cannot thank those rescuers enough,” says Acting Sergeant Kyra Steiner. “They likely saved a life today and a family’s loved one gets to come home tonight. Had they not been there, it quickly could have gone the other way.

“Myself and other officers who attended, as well as the woman they rescued, would like to say a massive thank you to those workers for their efforts today. They were very humble and downplayed their efforts when retelling the story. They put themselves at risk to save a stranger who will be forever grateful.

“Our message to drivers is take it easy in bad weather, and don’t take unnecessary risks – if the road is submerged, don’t drive through the water unless you’re absolutely certain that you can make it through. If the water is fast-flowing, you’re best to find another route or wait for it to recede.”

/NZ Police Public Release. View in full here.