Steve Gurney in rail crossing crash

17:42, Sep 20 2011



UNINJURED: Mulitsport legend Steve Gurney walked away with only minor injuries after a collision between his vehicle and a train this morning.
UNINJURED: Mulitsport legend Steve Gurney walked away with only minor injuries after a collision between his vehicle and a train this morning.

Kiwi multisport legend Steve Gurney says he is off to buy ''10 Lotto tickets'' after he survived his car colliding with a Tranz Scenic passenger train this morning.


The crash happened about 7.27am on Marsh Rd, Rangiora.


Gurney, who was the sole occupant of the car, was taken to Christchurch Hospital by ambulance, but was discharged soon after.


Bryan and Kelly Strnad were travelling from Christchurch with their young daughter Tessa to stay at a friend's house in the Marlborough Sounds.


When they felt the impact, Mrs Strnad, who was born in Christchurch but now lives in the US with her American husband, said there was "a little bump''.


Mr Strnad said he thought the driver had simply touched the brakes.


The train then braked heavily and stopped.


Other passengers saw the car spinning and bits of debris, they said.


Mr Strnad, who is from Colorado, said he didn't know who Steve Gurney was, but wondered why he hadn't seen the train coming.


The nine-time Coast to Coast winner said he suffered a few "aches and pain and bruises everywhere". "I'm lucky I walked away. I'm going to go buy 10 Lotto tickets." Gurney said he had been planning to go skiing, and was surprised by how far his gear had been thrown from the car after the crash. "I can't believe how big a radius all my gear was strewn ... about 80 metres." The Tranz Scenic Coastal Pacific train had departed Christchurch for Kaikoura and Picton at 7am.


KiwiRail spokeswoman Sophie Lee said none of the 32 passengers onboard the train were injured.


The crash damaged the train's "cow catcher" - the device attached to the front of a train used to clear track obstacles.


The passengers would travel between Picton and Christchurch by bus today, while the cow catcher was repaired. The train was expected to be back in service tomorrow.


An incident report would be filed to ensure all necessary safety and emergency procedures were undertaken, she said.


"KiwiRail undertakes incident reports for every level crossing incident."

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