Heroic passerby rescues three children from crash

Murfins Bridge, where the crash occurred.
Murfins Bridge, where the crash occurred. Photo credit: Google.

A passerby saved the lives of three children involved in a fatal crash on Atarau Road near Ikamatua on the West Coast on Sunday night.

The unnamed man pulled the children from an upside-down vehicle after coming across the wreckage in the Otututu river at around 8:20 pm.

The vehicle drove off a bridge and landed in the river.  

The children, aged six, nine and 11 were taken to Greymouth hospital, suffering from minor injuries.

The driver, 32-year-old Tamati James Rae from Kaikoura, was killed.   

In a statement released this morning, Senior Sergeant Brent Cook of the West Coast Police said, "Police would like to acknowledge the actions of the rescuer who has saved the lives of the children, as well as a local farmer who gave comfort and shelter after the crash."

The vehicle is in the process of being recovered and the road remains closed as the Serious Crash Unit investigates the accident.