Targa Rally crash raises corner concerns

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Georgetown Farmer Ken Elliott says the corner where an accident occurred during the Targa Rally on Wednesday has been problematic for years.

There have been frequent accidents at the Georgetown Rd/Glenn Settlement Rd corner over the years, with people failing to successfully negotiate the camber and down hill approach into the corner.

Mr Elliott said accidents used to be common.

“There used to be at least one or two a year, but since they have placed the two 65km/h signs to alert people there has only been one I can think of in the last 12 months.”

He said people can get caught out by the corner.

“Drivers get caught out by the camber and the down hill section of the bend and this results in them hitting the power poles, the banks or fences.”

Mr Elliott feels although the Waitaki District Council turned down his request for a chevron warning sign due to where the bank lies, the signs placed there instead have helped.

Targa New Zealand Rally clerk of course James Logan said the injured driver who they won’t name is in a stable condition.

“He suffered some serious leg injuries and was airlifted to Dunedin Hospital, while his co-driver suffered a broken arm and was attended to at Oamaru Hospital.”

The accident cause a slight disruption to the day’s proceedings with racing for that stage cancelled, but the other stages still went ahead just behind schedule.

It occurred on stage 14 of the rally.

Mr Logan was incredibly thankful of the quick response from the local fire service, police and ambulance crew.

‘They did a fantastic job, and helped our doctor after she arrived at the scene soon after, because she was following behind in a rally car.”

Council roading manager Michael Voss said only one crash had been recorded there.

“We’ve only heard of one crash taking place there and that was before 2009, we don’t see it as a deadly intersection for people, it’s more the approach to the intersection with the hill and the dip which mean you can’t see the corner.”

Mr Voss has not ruled out the possibility of a chevron sign being erected to help alert people more.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY