9 Jun 2017

Car plunges 50m off icy road, trapping two

12:47 pm on 9 June 2017

Two people have been rescued from a car that plunged 50m down a bank off the Rakaia Gorge Road in Canterbury.

The car plummeted down the bank in icy conditions this morning, trapping two back seat passengers. The driver and front seat passenger were able to get out.

Fire Service spokesman Brent Dunn said the car came to rest on a belt of pine trees, which stopped it dropping into the Rakaia River.

"Fire crews were able to secure a line down to the vehicle and they had to cut the car up and extricate the two people from the back using rescue equiment."

Mr Dunn says one rescued passenger had to be taken up the bank by stretcher, but the other was able to walk to the top unaided.

Rakaia Gorge Rd

The Rakaia Gorge Road, near the Mt Hutt ski-field Photo: Google Maps

A 2.5km stretch the Rakaia Gorge Road, State Highway 77, was extremely icy and a grit truck was called in.

"I've spoken to a couple of firefighters at the scene and they were saying it was difficult to stand up, let alone get vehicles through there, so that's a good indication of how slippery it was."

Mr Dunn said those in the car were lucky a truck driver saw them leave the road and raised the alarm.

"It was a good outcome for the people - albeit they've had a bit of a rough morning with damage to their vehicle and some injuries to the people."