Family runs for lives in Arrowtown

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A Wellington family of four had to “run for their lives” after a disqualified driver allegedly rolled his car by an Arrowtown river.

Two parents and two children, aged 11 and five, were playing near the Arrow River, just off Butlers Green, on Sunday afternoon.

They were about four metres away from a Toyota Hilux when it tumbled down the stone bank in the reserve. No one was injured.

The driver, 18, from Invercargill, was arrested on the scene and charged with driving while disqualified and careless driving.

Constable Feleki Uhrle, who was on the scene, says: “The family said they had to run for their lives.

“Witnesses say they were about four or five metres away.”

Three people were in the Hilux, which had returned from a four-wheel drive to Macetown along the river with another vehicle.

“He’s gone to turn on a small embankment but got it wrong and the vehicle has landed on its roof in the river,” Queenstown sergeant Tracy Haggart alleges.

The truck was towed and then impounded as the driver is disqualified.

“Because [the river] is open to the public and people are driving up and down … it’s deemed a public road,” Uhrle says.

Police were called to the scene at 1.13pm on Sunday.

The driver is due to appear in Queenstown District Court next Monday.

Toilet ‘assault’
Queenstown police are investigating an alleged assault of a sexual nature on a man by another man in a toilet cubicle.

Officers have uploaded grainy CCTV footage to the force’s Facebook page of the alleged perpetrator dancing provocatively in a Queenstown downtown bar in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.

“We are seeking a man to help us with our enquiries,” the Facebook post reads.

“He’s described as in his 30s or 40s, wearing a pink long-sleeved top, possibly [with] a non-Kiwi accent, short dark hair, possibly Middle Eastern with olive-coloured skin.”

Stills of the man are too grainy to reproduce in print but the video clip can be viewed on the Queenstown police Facebook page.

Student stoners
A group of university students were warned by police after throwing stones at a taxi.

Officers were called to Speargrass Flat Road, Queenstown, at 3am yesterday morning.

“They’d been dropped off but argued about the fare,” senior constable Julian Cahill says.

“They eventually paid but as the taxi pulled away someone threw a handful of stones.” 

The taxi was not damaged.

Trampers airlifted
Two trampers were airlifted from Dart Valley to Lakes District Hospital on Sunday after suffering knee pain.

The Auckland pair, part of the group of 10 walkers aged 50-70 from the city’s Catholic Tramping Club, had injured their knees while scrambling over several slips in the valley the day before.

Sergeant Terry Wood says the trampers woke in Daleys Flat Hut to find they could not put pressure on their knees.

The group activated their locator beacon and a search and rescue helicopter flew the group out for medical attention.

Irish ‘drink-driver’
An Irishman was allegedly so drunk behind the wheel that he crashed his car, then fell getting out and smacked his head on the road.

Officers were called to Hamilton Rd at 11.15pm on Saturday night.

The 28-year-old Irishman was treated at Lakes District Hospital for a large gash to his forehead.

He was also charged with careless driving. Police await the results of blood-alcohol tests taken in hospital.