Carpet cleaner seriously injured after being pinned by runaway van in Remuera

A carpet cleaner is in a serious condition after being pinned against a house when his work van rolled down a driveway in central Auckland.

Emergency services were called to Koraha St at 8.45am after reports a pedestrian had been struck by a vehicle that had then hit a house.

A neighbour who was first on the scene told the Weekend Herald he was doing some exercise when he heard what he initially thought was a cat crying.

“Then I heard somebody yelling for help. I looked out and I could see – it was a very horrible scene – he was on the corner and the van was crushing him to the house.”

The resident, who only wanted to be called Ray, said he immediately ran towards the neighbouring driveway in a bid to help while also on the phone to 111.

Part of the fence had been damaged and so he put some of those pieces of wood under the van’s wheels to try to stop it moving any further.

The victim was struggling to speak, Ray said.

“He was holding the keys in his hands, so I couldn’t figure out how it had happened.”

Ray grabbed the keys and attempted to move the van, before realising it was a manual transmission – which he cannot drive.

He ran to find another neighbour who could help. They managed to move the vehicle off the man just as St John paramedics arrived at the scene.

The owner of the house, Lisa Eruwera, had been at the supermarket at the time and no one was at home when the carpet cleaner had arrived.

She pulled in just as the victim was being led out on a stretcher.

“I saw all the emergency services and then realised they were on my driveway. I thought: ‘Oh! What’s happened?'”

She did not know the circumstances of the incident, but guessed that the man may have struggled to reverse the van down the driveway and had gone out to check something in the back when he was struck.

Police investigating circumstances

She thought he may have forgotten to put the handbrake on.

Eruwera was trying to get in touch with her insurance company to inform them of the damage – two broken windows and the fence smashed in.

She and her husband are both firefighters and had either of them been home, they would have known exactly what to do, she said, given their medical training.

She waved off the damage to her property, saying: “Oh, you can fix this stuff. We just hope he’s okay as it could’ve been a whole different story.”

A St John spokeswoman confirmed the man suffered serious injuries and was taken to the emergency department at Auckland City Hospital.

Police said they are investigating the circumstances of the incident.

It comes after a woman was killed in a similar incident in Massey, West Auckland, last month.

Krasimira Kraleva, an employee for a curtain company, was killed when a company vehicle rolled down a driveway on Donovan Ave and she attempted to stop it.

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