Fatal crash on Coast

Truck goes through barrier, plunges 200m down bank.

Truck goes through barrier, plunges 200m down bank.

A truck driver was killed this morning when his bulk carrier carting fertiliser went out of control and plunged down a bank off State Highway 35 just south of Tokomaru Bay.

The crash happened on Busby’s Hill, about a kilometre south of Tokomaru Bay, near Kaiawha Road, at around 6.30am.

The first person to arrive at the scene of the tragedy told The Gisborne Herald he saw skid marks on the road and damage to the roadside barriers.

“The truck had gone straight through the barriers and rolled 150 to 200 metres down the bank,” said Tokomaru Bay man Mike King.

“I climbed down to check on the driver but sadly he was unresponsive.”

Mr King, who runs Pauariki Honey and is a senior lifeguard at Wainui Surf Life Saving Club, was on his way to check some beehives.

“I called 111 as soon as I realised what had happened.”

Mr King said the driver had suffered extensive injuries.

Police, St John Ambulance from Ruatoria and the Fire and Emergency NZ crew from Tokomaru Bay went to the crash site at around 6.40am.

Police said the driver was the sole occupant. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police launched a serious crash investigation and staff from Gisborne went to the site.

The highway was closed soon after the crash and remained closed until around 11am while the initial scene investigation was conducted.

It was then reopened to one-lane traffic.

“Motorists are asked to follow the directions of emergency personnel,” police said.

An emergency services spokesman said firefighters would be called back later today to extricate the driver from the wreckage.

The operation to recover the driver and the truck was described as “difficult”.

The crash was the fourth fatal truck incident on the Coast highway since June last year.

Tairawhiti Roads, New Zealand Transport Agency and police have a review process under way to identify key causes for the large number of crashes, not just the fatalities, on the Coast highway.

Eastern region road policing manager Inspector Matt Broderick last year said the review would look at the causes of all Coast road crashes.

A truck driver was killed this morning when his bulk carrier carting fertiliser went out of control and plunged down a bank off State Highway 35 just south of Tokomaru Bay.

The crash happened on Busby’s Hill, about a kilometre south of Tokomaru Bay, near Kaiawha Road, at around 6.30am.

The first person to arrive at the scene of the tragedy told The Gisborne Herald he saw skid marks on the road and damage to the roadside barriers.

“The truck had gone straight through the barriers and rolled 150 to 200 metres down the bank,” said Tokomaru Bay man Mike King.

“I climbed down to check on the driver but sadly he was unresponsive.”

Mr King, who runs Pauariki Honey and is a senior lifeguard at Wainui Surf Life Saving Club, was on his way to check some beehives.

“I called 111 as soon as I realised what had happened.”

Mr King said the driver had suffered extensive injuries.

Police, St John Ambulance from Ruatoria and the Fire and Emergency NZ crew from Tokomaru Bay went to the crash site at around 6.40am.

Police said the driver was the sole occupant. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police launched a serious crash investigation and staff from Gisborne went to the site.

The highway was closed soon after the crash and remained closed until around 11am while the initial scene investigation was conducted.

It was then reopened to one-lane traffic.

“Motorists are asked to follow the directions of emergency personnel,” police said.

An emergency services spokesman said firefighters would be called back later today to extricate the driver from the wreckage.

The operation to recover the driver and the truck was described as “difficult”.

The crash was the fourth fatal truck incident on the Coast highway since June last year.

Tairawhiti Roads, New Zealand Transport Agency and police have a review process under way to identify key causes for the large number of crashes, not just the fatalities, on the Coast highway.

Eastern region road policing manager Inspector Matt Broderick last year said the review would look at the causes of all Coast road crashes.

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