Driver lucky to be alive after cow crash

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Two people are ‘extremely lucky’ to have survived a freak accident on Saturday night after the van they were driving hit a cow and then took out a power pole on the Moutere Highway.

The Nelson Fire crew was called out around 9pm to assist the Richmond and Appleby crews with the rescue. The Male driver of the van escaped the vehicle but a female passenger had to be cut out.

Nelson senior station officer Craig Davies says fire crews used the jaws of life and spreaders to extract the female passenger.

“The power lines were down so they had to wait to be isolated before they could do any work, otherwise you get electrocuted. It was a long drawn out extrication.”

He says the people in the van were lucky to be alive and if the power pole was any closer to either side of the vehicle then they probably would have lost their lives.

“The people were extremely lucky, very rarely do you see a van hit a cow and a power pole and not have any fatalities. It was like it was stapled right through the centre of the van, underneath the van, across the front and over the top.”

Both passengers were taken away by ambulance. The female passenger suffered a broken tibia, a split lip and broke some teeth. The cow was killed.

Police were at the scene, diverting traffic at the Moutere highway and Redwood Valley Road intersection.