Boulders crush quake Good Samaritan

2011-02-27 22:05

Cchristchurch - A Good Samaritan helped numerous terrified people after surviving the initial Christchurch earthquake, only to be crushed by boulders on his way home, a report said on Sunday.

Carpenter Owen Wright was unhurt when Tuesday's 6.3-magnitude tremor rocked his business premises near the city centre and began making his way home after texting his wife to say "I'm safe", the New Zealand Herald reported.

But the 40-year-old found the tunnel leading to his house at Lyttelton closed and steered his SUV onto an alternative route up a steep hill, the paper said.

Instead of passing scores of frightened people making their way up the hill on foot as they fled the city, he ferried them to the summit, making repeated trips to drop carloads people off then going back for more.

Anxious to be reunited with this wife and two children, he eventually resumed his journey but had to abandon his vehicle after finding the road was blocked, texting his wife "home in 10" and setting off down a path on foot.

Wright's brother Anthony told the newspaper the text was the last anyone heard from his sibling, who was killed when one of the numerous aftershocks that followed the quake dislodged boulders in the hills above the track.

Anthony Wright said his brother's selfless act in helping others had cost him his life.

"We understand that was his last act of kindness," he said, adding that Wright's bereaved son turned four on Sunday.

At least 147 people died in the disaster, with police expecting the final toll the reach more than 200.

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