Friday, 19 February 2010 - 9:18am |

Keep left when encountering emergency vehicles plea following Hamilton crash

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19 February 2010

Hamilton Police are urging motorists encountering emergency services vehicles to keep to the left after a crash in the west of the City this morning that left a dog handler's vehicle seriously damaged.

Acting Hamilton City area commander, Inspector Karen Henrikson, said officers were attending reports of a number of car break-ins in Western Heights about 4.15am.

"A man had been seen jumping a fence and the dog unit was one of several patrol vehicles responding.

"As the dog handler's car travelled along Whatawhata Rd a collision has occurred, fortunately the onboard safety equipment prevented serious injury to the officer, while the Police Dog appears to have also escaped injury."

The female driver of the other car suffered a cut to the head, each driver was attended by St John ambulance staff.

Ms Henrikson said the crash was currently being investigated by the Waikato Serious Crash Unit.

"Initial indications are that the driver has seen the patrol car approaching in her rear view mirror with its emergency lights flashing and has pulled to the left outside the Dinsdale shops.

"However as the patrol car closed in on her car she has performed a u-turn in front of the officer resulting in serious damage to both vehicles and the patrol vehicle coming to rest outside the West Hamilton Community Policing Centre."

Ms Henrikson said it was too early to comment on the specifics of this crash but other motorists often said they were left wondering what to do when encountering emergency service vehicles carrying out urgent duty driving.

"The best advice we can give is to move as far left as safety allows and if possible come to a halt until the emergency vehicle has past," she said.


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