Okay, so some blokes (with health problems) can lose control of their cars too but …

Mrs Grumble is chuffed this morning, after reading her NZ Herald on-line.

Among its contents are an account of a wayward motorist.

Actually, for the most part it is the same as a story published three weeks ago.

On April 1 the NZ Herald reported this –

A wayward motorist smashed into three parked vehicles, crossed four lanes of a highway and drove on to railway tracks before crashing to a standstill into railway station platform last night.

At that time Alf thought maybe it was an April Fool’s Day prank story.

But today Mrs Grumble – with an unseemly display of feminist triumph – drew Alf’s attention to this –

A wayward motorist who smashed into three parked vehicles, crossed four lanes of a highway and drove on to railway tracks before crashing into a railway station platform in Waikanae last weekend blames health problems.

Last weekend?

Don’t think so.

And the NZ Herald was lagging Stuff, which on 31 March reported that Kapiti Police had charged somebody in relation to an incident on the railway lines in Waikanae that night.

Sergeant Mike George of the Kapiti Mana Police Strategic Traffic Unit says police were called around 7.10pm after reports of a vehicle on the tracks, about 200 metres north of the Elizabeth Street railway crossing.

But let’s not quibble about who reported what and when they reported it.

What matters is the impact on Mrs Grumble’s attitude to her ever-loving husband.

Obviously riled by Alf’s well-meaning post yesterday about women drivers, she is triumphantly pointing out that the culprit – or should that be alleged culprit, to keep on the right side of the courts? – is a bloke.

Furthermore, he is younger than she.

Charles Gary Hill, 59, was charged with drink-driving and dangerous driving after the crash, described by witnesses as “bloody crazy”.

But there seem to be mitigating circumstances, in this case.

The poor bugger was not running smoothly on all cylinders in the health department.

“I am medically unwell,” he said in response to the allegations.

So what are the cops saying?

Sergeant Mike George, from the Kapiti Mana Police Strategic Traffic Unit, comes up with the answers in today’s Herald report.

He said police were called about 7.10pm after reports of a vehicle on railway tracks, about 200m north of the Elizabeth St railway crossing.

“It appears the driver has crashed into three parked vehicles in the Waikanae Hotel carpark, before crossing four lanes of State Highway 1, driving through trees and on to the railway tracks, where he’s continued north before coming to a stop at the railway station.”

About 70 witnesses had come forward.

Some of these presumably gave accounts of what happened to the newspapers at the time of the incident.

The Herald’s 1 April story quoted bartender Tobias Atkins.

“He reversed, hit a pillar, wrote off one car and that pushed into two others. He screamed down the alleyway between the fish shop and the pub at about 70km/h. There were kids playing out there just minutes before. He could have killed someone. He crossed the highway and through some trees until he got on the railway tracks. He drove along the tracks for about 200m until he hit the side of the platform,” he said.

“He told one of the guys here that he had put his foot on the wrong pedal. He hit the accelerator instead of the brake but he drove about 300m before he crashed. Everyone was on their phones ringing the police.”

Hill will appear in the Porirua District Court on April 27.

Whatever happens, Alf will not be backing down from his statistically based observations yesterday.

If he did back down, he would not slam his foot on the accelerator in error as he did so, as older women (according to the statistics) seem prone to do in car parks.

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