‘Assaulted’ emergency workers praised


Police have praised emergency services personnel after two were allegedly assaulted at the scene of a car crash in the Kawarau Gorge on Wednesday night.

Sergeant Bruce Terry, of Cromwell, praises fire and ambulance staff for dealing with “quite an aggressive situation”.

“They used an appropriate amount of force to restrain the people until the police arrived. It was good to see their professionalism.”

Terry also attended the crash, on State Highway 6, near Roaring Meg, about 9.45pm.

Three people are facing charges as a result of the incident and will appear in the Queenstown District Court on Monday.

Cromwell chief fire officer Steve Shaw, who was at the crash, says there are no problems at 99 per cent of calls attended by his crews – “this was one out of the blue”.

“It’s unfortunate that people see it necessary to confront us when we’re attempting to carry out our job, our function in the community.”

Shaw says the three fire crews took steps to ensure the injured person could be dealt with, without placing any of the firefighters at risk.

The two firefighters involved in the incident did not need any medical treatment.

Senior sergeant Paula Enoka, of Queenstown, says one firefighter was pushed and punched in the ribs.

Six people were in a Ford Falcon station wagon which failed to take a right-hand bend and hit a roadside barrier.

A 51-year-old passenger with neck injuries and cuts to his head was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital.

He was in a stable condition in hospital yesterday morning.

The driver, a 24-year-old Cromwell woman, faces charges of dangerous driving causing injury and disorderly behaviour.

A 54-year-old Alexandra man has been charged with assault and a 29-year-old Alexandra man faces a charge of disorderly behaviour.

Both were passengers in the crashed vehicle.

Terry says no other vehicle was involved in the crash. Some of the people in the car have links to gangs, he says.

The serious crash unit has been at the scene and the investigation continues.

Otago Daily Times