Live powerlines prevent rescue
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 6:06p.m.
By Amanda Gillies
Power company Vector is refusing to explain why it took so long to make a crash scene safe to enter.
A 26-year-old driver who hit a power pole lay trapped for more than two hours, before the current was switched off so emergency services could start to free him.
The man, South Auckland father Raymond Tuporo, died. Now his family are struggling to find peace.
His sister Mereana Mita wants to know why it took so long to turn the power off.
The family can’t understand why his body was trapped in his mangled car under powerlines for nearly three hours, with help unable to get to him because Vector had not turned off the power.
“We just want some answers,” Ms Mita says. “Just anything that they could give us about what happened. All we have heard was that there were some delays. Stuff like that. But no one wants to confirm. It is really frustrating.”
Mr Tuporo, a father of one, drove into a power pole in Onehunga in the early hours of Father's Day, September 2. He was heading home and police say he may have been speeding.
Emergency services were called and got there at 2:17am. Mr Tuporo was alive but had life-threatening injuries and was trapped in the wreckage.
But the live powerlines meant it was too dangerous to get to him. Vector was called, but it wasn't until 4:36am that the power was switched off.
By then Mr Tuporo was dead. His family fear what he went through during the delay.
“That he wanted help... that maybe he bled to death because nobody could get to him,” Ms Mita says.
3 News has been told emergency services at the scene were frustrated, with one overheard saying “just turn the power off - I don't care if all of Onehunga goes black”.
Mr Tuporo's mother Glenda Tuporo was too upset to appear on camera, but spoke of her distress.
“We know nothing. It's as if they are keeping us in the dark. As I said, I am so upset. I can't mourn properly at the moment. I just need to know these answers.”
The family have been told to email emergency services to get information. They say Vector couldn't tell them anything, saying it was before the coroner.
3 News did request an interview with Vector but was declined. A spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating the delay but at this stage they don't have a clear idea of what happened. But she said they would have taken into account the safety of people in and around the car.
Vector had to explain the delay to the serious crash unit, which referred the incident to the coroner.
But neither the serious crash unit nor the fire service could comment.
Yesterday, another car hit a power pole, this time in Cambridge in the middle of the day. Police say the Waipa power company acted quickly. The woman driving walked away, shaken but uninjured.
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14/12/2012 11:14:51 p.m.
family member!! wrote:
if the media hadnt stated that rayray was still alive,then this situation wouldnt be as bad as it was when it took part.but because the family was told that ray was still alive and that vector could not switch the power off for the ambulance to rescue him,thats got to be a hard thing to except because there could of been that chance that he could have been here today,if it was i that was the parent to ray i would never be able to rest knowing he struggled to survive and waiting on some help:(RIP my cuz.thinking of u always..
19/10/2012 9:50:04 p.m.
This is insane it is so easy to blame the victim Ray. Now if this was John Keys the reaction from Vector would have been swift. They would have immediately had the police turning it off themselves and that's reality. No parent want's to hear how their son was alive and that nothing could be done until several hours later. Then have to be told he has passed away and in doubt whether he suffered. It seems those who judge have no children.
21/09/2012 1:00:53 p.m.
concerned citizen wrote:
Regardless of how the accident was caused, emergancy services were at the scene ready to try and save the passenger, however due to a 2 hour delay switching off the power they could not get in to save him. We feel 2 hours was an excessive and unnecessary delay in the case of a emergency given this was in a business district and would like a answer on what caused this. If this was your family member do you not think you would want the same answers?
19/09/2012 4:40:20 p.m.
Look at you ghouls trying to blame someone else..anyone but the person who actually SPED into a power pole. Have you all forgotten that a lady died after her power was shut off because of an accident and the power company was blamed for that? Maybe Vector should have just forgotten all basic safety, switched the power off, interrupted vital power, risk other peoples lives, and just let all the emergency teams fight their way through all the live power-lines? You just want someone to blame. Well teach your whanau how dangerous speeding is.
15/09/2012 9:30:55 a.m.
there are 2 sides to the story and everyone is always on the negative side when it comes to things like this....reality is the person is now deceased due to an accident that people want to point the finger to blame and really the person to blame is the one who drove into the pole, it wasn’t the poles fault for being there, if the person was intoxicated and there is no report of that but blaming a power company for his death is what this country is good for and also i am certain that he was speeding, seriously everyone think if a person driving the actual speed limit at 60kmh, will the damage have been that much of a severe case?? All i am saying is that people need to back off from blaming such great companies, and if that person was alive, what difference would it have made now? there wouldn’t be any blame, it would have been another stat added to ‘drunk driving’ NZ has a bad reputation for media of destroying businesses and also abusing emotional families that are going through this rough time, if we all could just get it together and really do come up with hard evidence of who this story should really be blamed on, then go by all means and use this as a great headliner!! RIP to the deceased and apologies to the family who are grieving, you may not get the answers you would want to hear but pointing the finger is really pointless – media to blame really!!
14/09/2012 1:43:07 p.m.
Shame, Shame, Shame Vector. Family and friends may never know the actual FULL TRUTH of what or who is responsible. Hope this is not swept under the carpet with beaurocratic bullshit and red tape and that the coroner find out answers, Answers that the family need to hopefully find closure. The thought of Ray lying there probably wondering why you aren't helping him kills all of us inside. Someone at Vector knows the truth and Ray's death is on your hands and judgement day will come to you and I hope its with full force. RIP Rayray, now fly with the angels, xxxx
13/09/2012 7:23:03 p.m.
concerned friend wrote:
This should not have happened. And of all persons it happened to it happened to the most caring person. The thought of Ray lying there alive and people watching him die absoloutely kills me inside. A beautiful person was lost to soon...Admit you were wrong Vector and give his family closure!!
13/09/2012 4:56:15 p.m.
It makes me sick to know he was just sitting there waiting, needing help, fighting for his life and everyone was right there ready to help him except for the useless power company. There is no excuse for this and now his family have to wonder 'WHAT IF?' forever. Shame on you Vector. Give his family the answers they deserve.
R.I.P Rayray x
13/09/2012 11:05:21 a.m.
Why are they refusing to comment? An accident happened and emergency services were on the scene ready to provide assistance but could not gain access until over 2hours later when vector eventually turned the power off...Why the delay, this family is needing an answer to this - Vector if this was your son,father, brother, cousin would you not demand the same?
13/09/2012 7:55:57 a.m.
Penny C wrote:
FYI. Vector contract the work to a company called Northpower. Their crew is dispatched after hours by an outsource call center, Telnet, based in Queen street. The crew are on call and are normally asleep when called to jobs so early in the morning. It's not unusual for them to ignore the phone, fall back to sleep or take their sweet time getting to the job.
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