Moments after the car he was in collided with a truck, a young man covered in blood sat on the side of the road in shock, as the car with his friends inside burst into flames.
One of the first people at the scene after the crash – on King Edward St in Dunedin, in the early hours of Saturday – has described the horrific aftermath and the words that the surviving occupant said to her.
Abbey Reid and her partner were woken after hearing a loud smash outside their home about 3.30am.
When she opened the curtains, she saw that a car had collided with a rubbish truck and the couple rushed outside.
Reid was on the phone to emergency services when she suddenly spotted a young man coming towards her. He was covered in blood and was visibly in shock.
“I said: ‘Are you okay’? He said: ‘I was in the car … my friends are in there’.
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“I think he was really lost. He seemed to have smacked his head really hard,” she told the Herald.
“There was blood all over his face – if he walked down the road, I wouldn’t recognise him.
“He was out of it – massive state of shock.”
She said she and her partner could hear nothing else but the two motors running and could not see anyone in the car.
Motors sounded ‘scary’ – like something was about to happen
“It sounded really, really scary. You knew something bad was about to happen.”
She guessed it had been about two to three minutes after they had rushed out of the house and spotted the surviving occupant when the situation suddenly escalated.
“He was just saying (that his friends were inside still) when the car just…