Fruit truck plunges 10m into river

The truck and trailer unit crashed into the river early this morning. Supplied photo.

The driver of a truck and trailer carrying a load of fruit was lucky to escape a 10 metre plunge into the Ohinemuri River in the Karangahake Gorge this morning.

Emergency services were alerted to the incident at about 5am, reports Gold FM.

The driver managed to free himself from the wreckage with minor injuries.

The Paeroa Fire Service assisted the driver, bringing him up from the riverbank when they arrived at the scene.

The Kenworth truck and trailer carrying a load of produce was heading towards Waihi when it came to a bend outside the Talisman Cafe reserve area on the Paeroa side of the gorge. 

For whatever reason the driver appeared to have continued straight ahead instead of turning. 

He shot straight through the crash barrier and plunged an estimated 10 metres down the river bank, Paeroa Fire Brigade deputy chief Lindsay Hill says.

The gorge would likely be shut for some time on Friday to allow for a heavy haulage vehicle to be brought in to remove the crashed truck from the riverbed.  

The NZ Transport Agency says people who use State Highway 2 Karangahake Gorge should expect delays and a closure overnight while a truck and trailer unit is removed.

The truck and trailer left the road between Waikino and Karangahake early this morning and fell down an eight to 10 metre bank into the river. 

Waikato Transport Systems Manager, Karen Boyt, says from this morning stop/go traffic management will be in place so the contents of the truck and trailer can be removed. 

“People can expect some delays today while the contents of the truck is removed and we make preparations for the big job of lifting it out of the gorge. 

“The truck removal will take place later tonight when the traffic volumes are low so we minimise disruption to road users as much as possible,” Ms Boyt says. 

The road is expected to be closed between 10pm and 2am while the removal operation takes place. 

“People should plan for their journey and use another route while this work is undertaken,” Ms Boyt says.

-Additonal reporting


Kenworthlogger/Murray.Guy/old trucker/Heavy Haulage

Posted on 11-11-2017 11:16 | By penguin

Kenworthlogger - point is for a vehicle entering from Waihi, there would be no chance to escape a collision with a vehicle carrying straight ahead at the corner no blame. I know that area well - lived and travelled through there for some years.Murray Guy equally, how do you know that there may have been a vehicle causing the truckie to take evasive action?old trucker description of the road was downhill. Photo shows the truck facing uphill. Hence my question.Heavy Haulage if the cap fits, wear it. You suggest I dont like truckies. Look more carefully at some of my vehicle crash comments. You made assumptions about the reason for this tip-over and blaming impatient car drivers. Proof?? There are good and poor heavy vehicle drivers; equally with car drivers. I speak from experience of having driven trucks and buses.

Totally agree Murray

Posted on 11-11-2017 08:44 | By Kenworthlogger

The general public like Penguin here dont have a clue. My biggest hazard in my job is other road users. Lots of people do not know how to behave around heavy vehicles like pulling out in front of a heavy 58 ton unit and expecting them to brake hard like a car can. I understand Murray you drive a rather large coach line so would experience similar incidents. People like Penguin need to get out of the couch and show us how it is done and I think they will come to realise that we all indeed can make mistakes, and with a heavy GMV its not very forgiving.

Penguin, how do you know?

Posted on 10-11-2017 23:35 | By Murray.Guy

Penguin, how do you know that is one or both accidents involving trucks occurred today in the absence of other vehicles? The taking of evasive action is a common contributor to 'seemingly' un-explainable incidents, with the vehicle or obstacle oblivious to the outcome. A approaching vehicle cutting a corner, a hidden cyclist on a bend, .... Scary stuff regardless and as Penquin says, 'a lucky escape'.


Posted on 10-11-2017 18:02 | By Kenworthlogger

Its sheer chance with car accidents which there are literally thousands of each year compared to truck crashes... so what is your point Penguin?

Sheer chance...

Posted on 10-11-2017 15:06 | By penguin

...for everyone, there did not happen to be other traffic either at the time of the logging truck crash (other report) or this fruit truck failing to take a bend in the Karangahake gorge. The latter would not have been survivable.

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