"I've never been so scared", victim dragged from car moments before roller collision
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A victim of the road roller rampage in Upper Hutt has described being dragged away from her car moments before it was rammed into a pole.
The Upper Hutt woman said her car was "totally wrecked" in the early hours of Saturday morning when a 47-year-old Porirua man allegedly drove the roller into a number of cars at a boy racer meet.
Photo / RNZ
The woman, who did not want to be named, said she had joined her friends and fellow car enthusiasts "like we usually do on a Friday night" at the site of what's believed to be a new subdivision near Silverstream.
When the roller started up she and other friends believed it was someone taking it for a joyride, until it started hitting cars.
"[I] heard people saying he had crashed into a car and that's when he started hitting the next car, and that's when everyone started panicking and trying to get out of there," she said.
She "couldn't stop shaking" as she and a friend tried to get her car out of the way.
But things turned from bad to worse when the pair got trapped in by other fleeing vehicles, and her car got stuck in the mud.
"One of my friends that was helping me move my car ended up getting punched in the face quite badly, so I told him to go and that's when the roller started coming towards my car."
She continued trying to get the car free and was "in tears, screaming for help" when a friend dragged her away.
"We ran off and just watched my car get crushed into a pole," she said.
"I had never been so scared in my life."
She said the roller was about 15 seconds away from her car when she had to abandon the vehicle.
"My friend who helped me get away from my car covered my eyes for some of it as I was screaming, but hearing it and then at the last minute seeing it hit the pole, I just broke down completely, I was heartbroken."
The woman said she believed her life was in danger at the time.
"Words can't describe what happened that night and how it made people feel, everything that happened we can never unsee, it was traumatising."
Since the incident she has struggled to sleep, saying the ordeal replays in her head every time she closes her eyes.
Another victim said he saw cars "spinning in circles" as the roller hit them.
David, who didn't want his surname used, watched his car get rammed into the kerb. Next thing he knew, the roller was headed in his direction.
"[It] was pretty traumatic for me being 10m as a person versus a roller. I'm not easily scared but this scared me."
As the chaos unfolded, "50 odd cars" were trying to get out of the area, people were screaming and crying, and a girl nearby was having a panic attack, he said.
David said one man was being carried by a friend, going in and out of consciousness.
"I turned around to help this man - the roller was 10 maybe 15m away - and my first instinct was to help these people or they would be killed."
David waved down a car and told them to take the man to hospital.
He labelled what happened "a terror attack".
"We are not a bad crowd of people, it's a small five per cent of us who actually do illegal things, maybe even less."
The woman whose car was crushed said the car enthusiasts were "literally like a big family" who enjoyed meeting up and showing off their cars.
The man accused of the crime has been charged with endangering transport and drunk driving. He will appear in court next month.
- NZ Herald