The milk tanker crashed into the idling car, dragging it 50m down the road before smashing into a lamp post. The tanker driver was able to get out of the vehicle, but the trapped passengers died when the car burst into flames.
Two of the passengers were brother and sister, while the third was a woman named Chantelle Giles, who had just moved back to the area. Her husband, Raphael Giles, had climbed out of the car moments earlier to secure the gate, and he rushed to try and save her, but was driven back by the flames.
Giles then saw that the tanker driver was still in his seat, and rushed to help the man out of the cab. The driver was taken to hospital with mild injuries.
Giles said on stuff.co.nz: “I saw him sitting in the seat and I rushed over there and held the door open and two guys helped him out.”
The other two passengers were John and Cherry Bayne, with John a close friend of Giles’ for the past 16 years. Giles said that the car was not actually in the driveway, but rather parked by the kerb.
Giles said of his wife, who he met at church four years ago: “She was one in a million. She’d brighten up everything.
“I’m not sure what I am going to do now. I just can’t believe it’s happened.
“She tried to do what was right no matter what. I just can’t believe she has gone, just like that.”
Police are still investigating the matter.