Former New Zealand players Simon Doull and Mark Richardson were involved in a serious car crash on Friday. The cricketers-turned-commentators, along with statistician Francis Payne, were driving along through the Kaimai Ranges to Auckland on their way back from Tauranga after the cancellation of a domestic Twenty20 match and ran into torrential rain.
A runaway wheel from another vehicle, which ended up in a ditch, hurtled towards the Toyota Camry rental car driven by Doull and struck it on the front passenger side. The impact sent the car skidding across the road and into the path of an oncoming truck.
"I was driving, and Riggor [Richardson] was sitting in the passenger seat," Doull said. "Suddenly, he yelled and out of the corner of my eye I saw this object coming straight for the car. At the last minute, I tried to swerve out of the way and then there was this huge smash in the front left-hand side. It spat us straight across the road and into the path of oncoming traffic.
"I was trying to steer and the car was like a dead weight and wouldn't steer at all. I thought we were going to skid straight into a truck. Luckily, I just managed to straighten it up but by that stage we were probably about two metres over the yellow line and on the wrong side of the road."
Doull said the trio managed to get their vehicle out of the path of oncoming traffic and into a driveway before calling for assistance. "We were so lucky we got out of it alive," he said. "I could have reached my hand out and touched the bloody truck on the other side of the road. Nobody got hurt. It was just amazing."