Wellington family survive terrifying crash, attend daughters wedding the next day

A Wellington woman feels “extraordinarily lucky” to be able to attend her daughter’s wedding today – the day after her family’s car was hit and dragged by a truck down State Highway 2.

Emergency services were called to reports of a crash between a truck and a car between Ngauranga and Petone at 11.30am yesterday.

Claire, who only wanted to be identified by her first name, was in the car with her husband and son. She told the Herald she thought she was going to have to watch them die.

The trio were coming back from Wellington to Lower Hutt after attending a rehearsal for the wedding. Their daughter was following in another car behind them.

“So she saw the truck and the smoke pouring out because we were sideways and our tyres were being dragged sideways”, Claire said.

Police were making follow-up inquiries, a spokesperson said.

Claire said the truck clipped the rear of the car, causing it to abruptly turn sideways, putting it in front of the truck.

She estimated the car was then dragged about 100m.

“We sort of careered sideways down the motorway, then the driver of the truck must have realised and he braked.

“That loosened us off the front of the truck and then we spun back around and kept going and then we hit the side of a bank, which fortunately slowed us down, and then we hit a power pole.”

When the car came to a stop, Claire said they all sat there for a moment in complete shock.

“You just don’t know what to think and then I looked out my husband’s window, because I was trapped against the bank, and there was my daughter’s face in absolute anguish.”

Another truck driver behind them stopped to block the lane to traffic, checked on the family, and freed Claire’s son from the car.

Claire wanted to thank him for stopping and helping them before emergency services arrived.

The side of the car Claire was sitting in hit the power pole. She had a sore neck and shoulders and because she has arthritis in her spine, she had to be cut from the vehicle to be freed from the wreckage.

“They dragged the car off the bank and cut the roof off, so now it’s a convertible”, Claire said.

“I just remember all the clunks and the movement of the car as they were cutting through the structural things.”

The family can’t believe they’re still alive and have been left with only bruises and some aches and pains.

Claire said she felt “extraordinarily lucky” to be attending their daughter’s wedding today, although she is still processing what happened to her just yesterday.

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