Car with eight passengers, driven by 13-year-old, hits Hastings house
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When Juanita Kotze woke to a bang in the early hours on Saturday morning, she thought it was an earthquake. Instead, a car had smashed into her house, mere metres from where her 2-year-old son was sleeping.
Her husband had heard the car coming, and covered his sleeping son with his body to protect him.
"This could have been a tragedy," Kotze said.
The car, which had smashed through their fence and into the concrete porch, was being driven by a boy who passengers said was 13.
Occupants of the vehicle allegedly told police a woman had been driving the vehicle, but police found the driver's seat was pushed as far forward as it could go.
"They then admitted a 13-year-old boy was driving the car, and that there were about eight passengers in the vehicle," Kotze said.
Police also found alcohol bottles in the car.
"It took me probably an hour, an hour and a half to settle down, I was shaking," Kotze said.
It took about three hours to clean up the mess, although the Kotze family was lucky the concrete porch had taken most of the impact. A shattered window and scratches in the paint were the worst of the damage to the house.
Part of their front fence had to be removed however, and the car took out several trees as well.
Kotze said the area had a history of boy racers, and the residents were concerned about the safety of the road, especially given its proximity to Hastings Boys' High School.
"I am not going to allow my toddler to play here on the front lawn, because heaven forbid, what is to say it can't happen in daylight?
"We would really, really appreciate if council could intervene, and maybe put up a couple of speed bumps, just try and make this neighbourhood safe again.
"Let's be proactive rather than reactive."
Cleaning up the broken glass and foliage the next morning took about three hours. Photo / Warren Buckland
Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said he had had three cars come through his fence.
He claimed another five of his neighbours had also had cars come through their fences, and there were regularly cars in the ditch next to the rail lines, or wrapped around powerlines.
"How someone hasn't died is beyond me."
He didn't think speed bumps would help, as boy racers would simply ignore them.
He said the problem was caused by low visibility coming over the railway line on Murdoch Rd, coupled with people still slowing down on Railway Rd, as they came out of a 100km/h zone into a residential area.
He would like to see the rail crossing moved down the road, forcing people to slow down rather than driving straight over it.
Police confirmed they were called to the incident at 1.05am on Saturday.
No one was injured during the event.
Investigations are ongoing.
A spokesperson for Hastings District Council said they were looking into the background of the road.
- Hawkes Bay Today