Car smashes into fire service van at Ashhurst crash scene

A firefighter directing traffic had to jump aside as a car ploughed into a fire service van at the scene of another crash.

Two cars collided between Ashhurst Rd and Harrisons Lane, north of Palmerston North causing one of the cars to burst into flames at about 8.20pm on Saturday.

Of the six car occupants three suffered moderate injuries and three had minor injuries.

Manawatū Fire and Emergency area commander Mitchell Brown said firefighters put the blazing car out and set up traffic controls while they were working on the road. They were almost finished when the next crash happened at about 9.30pm. 

Six injured after two-car crash near Palmerston North

A volunteer firefighter from Ashhurst had been ushering traffic near Grove Rd, when a driver failed to take the directed turn and their car headed straight for the support van the volunteer was standing at. 

"She was standing to the side of it, and she realised when the vehicle wasn't stopping she headed off to the other side of the road quite quickly," Brown said.

The car collided with the wheel and door of the fire service van, close to where the firefighter had been standing. 

Mitchell said no one was hurt, but both the firefighter and the woman and young child in the car were quite shaken. 

The van would be assessed on Monday to see whether it could be repaired. The axle, suspension and wheel had taken most of the impact.  

Mitchell said it was distressing to see his staff and volunteers put in danger needlessly when they were trying to do the right thing, and were dealing with difficult scenes. 

"We've had a couple of dangerous incidents with operational support vehicles doing traffic control. If you see flashing lights, you've really got to button off, be prepared to stop, use all caution and observe the directions given - because there's an emergency.

"Slow down as much as you can - look after and protect our volunteers and staff."

 - Stuff