Elderly woman reunited with family after days in crashed car

Tai Luxford (NZ Police)
Tai Luxford (NZ Police)

The family of an elderly Manawatu woman who's been found after spending four days in a crashed car say they feel like they've won Lotto.

Tai Luxford, 73, suffers from dementia and is now in Whanganui Hospital recovering from minor injuries.

Ms Luxford was last seen buying petrol from a BP service station in Bulls on Thursday.

Her niece, Mary-Ann Ferris, says the family received a call from emergency services yesterday, telling them their aunt had been found by a farmer in her car at Mangamahu, near Whanganui. She had crashed through three fences before coming to a stop.

When the family got to Whanganui Hospital Ms Ferris says their aunt greeted them happily, but had little recollection of what had happened.

"She was just happy to see everybody, she'd just thought we'd come to say hello."

Ms Ferris says that's when Ms Luxford -- who was sunburnt, bruised and dehydrated -- told them her story.

"She told us that she'd left the car and she'd climbed up a bank and… she got to the top of the bank and she was on a cliff… and had a sleep.

"She woke up and she actually told us she'd seen God  because she didn't know where the car was  and God came along and found her and said, 'Come on my girl, I'll take you to the car'."

And then Ms Luxford started writing on her legs and feet in red pen -- Ms Ferris doesn't know if it's because her aunt was bored or desperate.

Ms Ferris says it's a fantastic story, but her aunt might need a GPS strapped to her in future.