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Tauranga Teenager Talks About Terror Crash

Date: 4 May 2008

Tauranga Teenager Talks About Terror Crash

Mary-Beth Wood, 15, thought the driver of a car that lost control and slid into the crowd outside a bach in Otahu Rd, Whangamata yesterday was just "kidding and showing off".

Someone yelled, "run", but the Otumoetai College student had only gone two metres when the car clipped her left leg leaving her lying injured on the ground with compound fractures.

Today from her bed in a ward at Waikato Hospital Mary-Beth described how "surreal" the situation was.

"When we saw he had lost control, we never thought he would come near us," she said.

"We were just sitting on the driveway watching all the cars go by," Mary-Beth's boyfriend Hamish Tarr, 17, said. Other groups in the street were sitting outside at picnic tables watching the action.

"We heard it and then we saw it was overtaking a car on the verge," he said.

Whangamata is hosting a weekend-long Beach Hop, an annual event that attracts large crowds and large numbers of car enthusiasts. Mary-Beth and Hamish were part of a school group staying at Hamish's family bach.

Shortly after the out-of-control car struck Mary-Beth and an 18-year-old Tauranga man, a woman found Mary-Beth's cellphone and rang her mother Donnamarie (crcct) Wood in Tauranga.

She said, "Your daughter has been in an accident," said Mrs Wood.

"That woman was just marvellous. Her daughter was with her and she is a nurse. They were both comforting Mary-Beth and I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank them both."

Mary-Beth is likely to remain in Waikato Hospital for at least a fortnight. She underwent four-hours surgery last night and is expected to have more surgery on the leg tomorrow.


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