'Nightmare come true'

Two hurt in SH2 log truck crash.

Two hurt in SH2 log truck crash.

Picture by Liam Clayton
Picture supplied

A Te Karaka mother is praising God she is still alive after hearing, then seeing, a fully-loaded logging truck flip in front of her.

“My guardian angel was watching over us,” she said.

The sound of the fully-loaded log truck screeching along the road was “so scary” but what she saw seconds later when she came off the Kaitaratahi Bridge on Matawai Road was a “nightmare come true.”

The truck was sprawled across the road with logs everywhere.
“We were going home from Gisborne. There were two people in my car and there was a car ahead of me . . . there were four of us there. The first thing I did was ring 111.”

The 60-year-old driver was a Te Karaka local, she said.

He was taken to Gisborne Hospital with serious injuries. The passenger was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The truck and trailer unit rolled on State Highway 2 just north of Lavenham Road about 2.30pm yesterday afternoon as it was heading towards the city.

Road blocks were placed at Te Karaka and at the back Ormond Road intersection. With it being nearly the end of school time, there were some frantic parents in the queues on either side.

Te Karaka Area School principal Gordon Pepere said people like the school bus driver, staff and the tolerance of worried parents made the job of managing the students at school and getting them home from school easier.

“We have to be grateful that the potential for the incident to be far worse did not eventuate. Our thoughts go out to those who were injured,” Mr Pepere said this morning.

There were 27 students affected by the road closure.

The school bus and some staff had already left and were in the queue.
“A staff member spoke with the bus driver and because some of the younger ones were unsettled and worried, we decided to bring them back to school.”

Parents and relatives were contacted. Some children were picked up by relatives or friends, while staff and older students looked after and fed the younger ones.

“It was great the older students were able to take over and prepare some food and look after the younger ones. The kids showed leadership in a situation that was not really school.”

Mr Pepere said the idea of going to Matawai and taking the Wharekopae Road was not an option. Because of all the recent rain, it was not safe.

It was not until after 6pm that the highway was reopened to one lane with traffic control in place.
“Our bus driver offered to return the students home, but we were able to use staff, who travel from Gisborne.”

Traffic halted, power to townships out

Mr Pepere said at this morning’s debrief they identified processes that worked well and others that could be improved on.
People like the traffic controllers and clean-up crew, at the accident for hours to keep it safe, needed to be thanked.
Ormond School had a few students affected but it was “no big deal”.

Te Karaka Preschool supervisor Diana Trafford said the power went out when the accident happened, so their landline did not work.

“There were some worried parents who couldn’t get to their children but thanks to mobile phones we were able to communicate.

She was impressed with the police.

“It was really cool — we had police come to us and let us know what was going on.”
A staff member who was in the queue that stretched north as far as Nisbett’s Dip said there was no communication while in line.

She was in line for three hours and would have turned back to work if she had known it would be so long.

The Te Karaka mother who was one of the first on the scene joined the chorus of praise for the work of the people who responded.

“Fire, police, ambulance, power companies . . . everyone involved did an amazing job to get the road open.”

Fire and Emergency NZ sent Te Karaka volunteers and Gisborne staff to the crash scene. St John ambulance attended.

Te Karaka chief fire officer Jamie Simpson said the passenger, aged in his 30s, was able to make his own way out.
“The driver, in his 60s, was still in the truck when we arrived. We assisted him out when the ambulance crew arrived.”

The 63-year-old driver was admitted to hospital and to the intensive care unit with a chest injury, in a stable condition, a hospital spokesman said.
"The passenger was treated and discharged.”

The crash took out a transformer power pole alongside the road and the power lines came down.

“It affected about 400 power customers in the Ormond, Te Karaka township area, and along the State Highway,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“We had 360 of them back on power supply by 3.15pm, and the rest by 4pm.”

Mr Stewart said permanent repairs to the damaged pole would be carried out today.

A crane from C.R.Taylor Ltd was used to lift the truck and trailer on to transporters and the damaged rig was brought back to Gisborne.

Road contractors Downer loaded the spilled logs on to another truck for those to be taken away.

The highway was re-opened fully at 8.50pm, the New Zealand Transport Agency said.

A Te Karaka mother is praising God she is still alive after hearing, then seeing, a fully-loaded logging truck flip in front of her.

“My guardian angel was watching over us,” she said.

The sound of the fully-loaded log truck screeching along the road was “so scary” but what she saw seconds later when she came off the Kaitaratahi Bridge on Matawai Road was a “nightmare come true.”

The truck was sprawled across the road with logs everywhere.
“We were going home from Gisborne. There were two people in my car and there was a car ahead of me . . . there were four of us there. The first thing I did was ring 111.”

The 60-year-old driver was a Te Karaka local, she said.

He was taken to Gisborne Hospital with serious injuries. The passenger was also taken to hospital with minor injuries.
The truck and trailer unit rolled on State Highway 2 just north of Lavenham Road about 2.30pm yesterday afternoon as it was heading towards the city.

Road blocks were placed at Te Karaka and at the back Ormond Road intersection. With it being nearly the end of school time, there were some frantic parents in the queues on either side.

Te Karaka Area School principal Gordon Pepere said people like the school bus driver, staff and the tolerance of worried parents made the job of managing the students at school and getting them home from school easier.

“We have to be grateful that the potential for the incident to be far worse did not eventuate. Our thoughts go out to those who were injured,” Mr Pepere said this morning.

There were 27 students affected by the road closure.

The school bus and some staff had already left and were in the queue.
“A staff member spoke with the bus driver and because some of the younger ones were unsettled and worried, we decided to bring them back to school.”

Parents and relatives were contacted. Some children were picked up by relatives or friends, while staff and older students looked after and fed the younger ones.

“It was great the older students were able to take over and prepare some food and look after the younger ones. The kids showed leadership in a situation that was not really school.”

Mr Pepere said the idea of going to Matawai and taking the Wharekopae Road was not an option. Because of all the recent rain, it was not safe.

It was not until after 6pm that the highway was reopened to one lane with traffic control in place.
“Our bus driver offered to return the students home, but we were able to use staff, who travel from Gisborne.”

Traffic halted, power to townships out

Mr Pepere said at this morning’s debrief they identified processes that worked well and others that could be improved on.
People like the traffic controllers and clean-up crew, at the accident for hours to keep it safe, needed to be thanked.
Ormond School had a few students affected but it was “no big deal”.

Te Karaka Preschool supervisor Diana Trafford said the power went out when the accident happened, so their landline did not work.

“There were some worried parents who couldn’t get to their children but thanks to mobile phones we were able to communicate.

She was impressed with the police.

“It was really cool — we had police come to us and let us know what was going on.”
A staff member who was in the queue that stretched north as far as Nisbett’s Dip said there was no communication while in line.

She was in line for three hours and would have turned back to work if she had known it would be so long.

The Te Karaka mother who was one of the first on the scene joined the chorus of praise for the work of the people who responded.

“Fire, police, ambulance, power companies . . . everyone involved did an amazing job to get the road open.”

Fire and Emergency NZ sent Te Karaka volunteers and Gisborne staff to the crash scene. St John ambulance attended.

Te Karaka chief fire officer Jamie Simpson said the passenger, aged in his 30s, was able to make his own way out.
“The driver, in his 60s, was still in the truck when we arrived. We assisted him out when the ambulance crew arrived.”

The 63-year-old driver was admitted to hospital and to the intensive care unit with a chest injury, in a stable condition, a hospital spokesman said.
"The passenger was treated and discharged.”

The crash took out a transformer power pole alongside the road and the power lines came down.

“It affected about 400 power customers in the Ormond, Te Karaka township area, and along the State Highway,” said Eastland Network general manager Brent Stewart.

“We had 360 of them back on power supply by 3.15pm, and the rest by 4pm.”

Mr Stewart said permanent repairs to the damaged pole would be carried out today.

A crane from C.R.Taylor Ltd was used to lift the truck and trailer on to transporters and the damaged rig was brought back to Gisborne.

Road contractors Downer loaded the spilled logs on to another truck for those to be taken away.

The highway was re-opened fully at 8.50pm, the New Zealand Transport Agency said.

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