Crashed tourists experience the 'Kiwi way'

The crash site (Supplied)
The crash site (Supplied)

A pair of Kiwi electricians have gone to extraordinary lengths to help out a tourist couple whose campervan crashed into a trailer of their gear.

Shanan Degarnham of Lumsden, Southland, was turning into a client's driveway in Mossburn last Thursday when the campervan attempted to overtake.

Mr Degarnham and his co-worker were towing a trailer carrying 500 metres of heavy duty cable. He remembers looking in the side mirror after a loud bang and jolt, and seeing the cable go flying roughly two-and-a-half metres into the air.

His co-worker was shocked, but spurred into action after Mr Degarnham told him to call an ambulance.

The English couple were in shock and visibly upset. Their campervan was seeping liquid. Mr Degarnham helped the woman in the passenger seat out, followed by her partner, who was unable to get out of the driver's side door.

His co-worker took the couple into the client's house, while Mr Degarnham donned a hi-vis vest and directed traffic.

Luckily, no one was injured.

The 500m of cable the campervan hit (Supplied)

Ministry of Transport figures show drivers holding overseas licenses account for nearly 6 percent of road accidents in New Zealand. The South Island has the highest proportion of short-term visitor crashes. The top six nationalities who crash on our roads are Australia, Germany, UK, China, India and the US.

Mr Degarnham says he wanted to help the couple.

"You don't need me ranting and raving at you, that's not going to help," he says.

"They were in the wrong, they admitted it, but they still needed help."

After finishing the job for his client, Mr Degarnham returned to his boss' house.

"I walked into the lounge and there [the couple] were," he says.

After hearing about the accident, boss Gary 'Alf' Maclean tracked the couple down to the information centre in Lumsden, where they were waiting for a bus to Queenstown.

He took the couple back to his house, gave them a meal and made sure they were settled. His partner Naomi then took them to Queenstown, roughly an hour away, and helped them find somewhere to stay.

"If that's not the Kiwi way, then what is?" Mr Degarnham says.

The campervan damage (Supplied)

Mr Maclean felt sorry for the couple being stuck in a small town. He says even if there was an injury, he still would've helped them.

"I don't bear any grudges," he says. "There's no need for people to not help each other."

Both men wanted to thank emergency services for responding quickly.

"It was a simple case of bad judgement; I think it had more to do with the driver being young than a tourist," Mr Maclean says.

"I'm very proud of the way my guys conducted themselves under the circumstances."

Mr Degarnham says he still wants tourists to come to our country.

"They provide a huge economic resource for New Zealand," he says.

"They're excited, they're looking out the window and happy to be here."

And in this case -- where "everyone walked away" -- he and Mr McLean want nothing more than the couple to enjoy the rest of their time in the country.