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Rental car flips into creek, driver okay

Thursday 14 March 2024 | Written by Rashneel Kumar | Published in Crime, Local, National


Rental car flips into creek, driver okay
The car driven by a 43-year-old man rolled into the creek by the Nikao seawall early yesterday. 24031320/ 24031321

A 43-year-old driver escaped serious injury after the rental car he was driving rolled off into the creek by the Nikao seawall early yesterday morning.

Police spokesperson Trevor Pitt said the incident occurred just before 1am on Wednesday when a car rolled by the seawall bridge and into the culvert at the western side of the airport runway.

Pitt told Cook Islands News that police were called at 12.55am and the driver, a local man who sustained only minor scratches, was taken to the hospital for a blood test.

“He’s ok and has been to HQ (Police Headquarters) this (yesterday) morning to retrieve items.”

Videos shared with Cook Islands News showed the car wedged in the culvert, its front end pointing down towards the water with the bumper partially submerged.

Three people, including an Airport Authority Rescue Fire Services officer, helped the driver out of the car.

The fire officer told the newspaper that the driver was already halfway out of the car when he arrived at the scene.

“It didn’t take us long to get him out of the car. We did our assessment, and he said he was fine. Luckily, the door was open,” the fire officer said.

Three people, including an Airport Authority Rescue Fire Services officer, helped the driver out of the car. 24031322

An ambulance attended to the driver at the scene.

The car was still running and the alarms went off when it fell into the culvert. The fire officer said they struggled to turn off the alarm as they couldn’t reach the battery, but eventually managed to do so.

According to a witness who was visiting the nearby Super Brown store for an early morning snack, “I didn’t see when the car fell down. I arrived just a minute after.”

The witness said the car was parked in the vacant area near the seawall, “but then when he tried to get back onto the main road, he drove slowly straight to the bridge and fell down”.

In a separate incident reported shortly after 7.30pm Tuesday in Kavera, a motorcyclist and a pillion passenger collided with the back of a car. A blood sample was taken from the 53-year-old female driver.

Last week, Pitt said Rarotonga recorded its lowest monthly number of motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) in two years.

Police data showed that 11 crashes were reported last month. The previous record low of 10 was in January 2022.

However, Pitt said that despite this, police expect driver behaviour and road incidents to continue to worsen as the year progresses.

He added that an increase in traffic volume in the coming months, due to rising visitor numbers, will elevate the risk level on the road, particularly in the town area and points on the coast susceptible to congestion.