Bay driver killed in gorge crash

Police checking the road near the accident scene today. Photo: Andrew Campbell.

The truck driver killed in a crash on State Highway 36 has been confirmed by police as a Bay of Plenty man.

Police say a 63-year-old Rotorua man was killed when his truck and trailer unit went down a bank in the Mangorewa Gorge on SH36.

The highway also known as the Pyes Pa Road and Tauranga Direct Road, is expected to remain closed overnight

The highway will be closed from Te Matai Road on the Tauranga side and Dudley road on the Rotorua side, police say in a statement released this evening.

"The truck and trailer unit was transporting a load of hazardous substances some of which have spilled into the gorge. Because of the nature of the substances, a 250m exclusion zone has been established around the crash site.

"Environmental Protection Agency officials from Bay of Plenty Regional Council are assisting at the scene. The Serious Crash Unit is investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash."

Diversions are in place at the north end of Pyes Pa Road, near Te Matai Road, and at the south end of Pyes Pa Road, near Dudley Road.


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