Driver cut from Bay truck wreckage

A truck carrying milk cartons crashed trapping the driver on a highway between Tauranga and Rotorua, on State Highway 33, on Wednesday. Photos: Matt Shand/Stuff

The driver of a milk delivery truck was left pinned after his vehicle rolled between Rotorua and Tauranga.

Some of his cargo began to catch fire shortly after the crash around 9am on State Highway 33, but luckily good samaritans rushed to his aid and extinguished the spot fires before they took off and became dangerous. 

A former nurse, who asked not to be named, was the first at the scene.

"I arrived as the milk was sliding down the hill," she says. 

"Everyone who arrived was really quick at assisting the driver. I called out for extinguishers and suddenly there were about three of them being used to put out the fires."

The woman headed to the tipped vehicle to find the driver pinned inside.

"He was in a lot of pain but still talking," she says. 

"We decided it was best to leave him in there as we could have done more harm to him getting him out. I called the ambulance at 8.54am."

Witnesses rushed to put out small fires that began in the cargo after the crash.

Fire and Emergency NZ had to cut the driver from the truck. His condition was not known.

The former nurse travels the stretch of road often and says it is becoming an all-too-common occurrence to see road accidents on the highway.

"It's been happening here for a number of years," she says. 

"You come across accidents all the time.

"I do want to say all the people who helped were amazing. By the time the ambulance had arrived they had already got the road cleared of cargo and were all pitching in to keep people safe."

-Matt Shand/



Posted on 29-11-2017 08:04 | By Kenworthlogger

I too have driven in Europe and so to has others in our fleet and the main A roads which you would drive a big rig were perfect. No potholes to be seen. World class. You only have to drive on our state highway to Whakatane in a big rig to see not only is the road sinking into a swamp and is bumpy as hell and laugh that to fix it at BP Pukehina they put up a bumpy road sign. In the UK heavy vehicles are only a maximum 44 ton while in NZ we go up to 60 ton with the adverage new truck being over 50 ton. So do you still want to compare us to Europe where I know Frenchmen do not do 70 hour weeks? Lets not even start to discuss the different road compounds in Europe compared to NZ coarse chip...


Posted on 28-11-2017 10:47 | By maildrop

Well I can only assume the vehicles are roadworthy?! If not, they shouldn't be on the road. The roads in NZ, imo, are very very good. Having lived and driven in both places over many years I think I can form that opinion. Gosh, the U.K. roads are terrible. Full of potholes and dug up every 2 minutes. And it's not all motorways Ken. Trucks cover the millions of miles of "normal" roads in the UK. In all my years there I can hardly remember any trucks going off the road. Here it is a daily occurrence. The weather conditions are undoubtedly better here too. So what the hell is it Ken? You may have an issue with hours at the wheel. Put your efforts into getting safer conditions for truck drivers rather than trying to defend the indefensible.

Check the driving conditions Maildrop

Posted on 27-11-2017 17:13 | By Kenworthlogger

The conditions are totally different here mate. Would you say we have world class vehicles here or world class roads. Do French truck drivers do 70 hour weeks?

Check the figures Ken

Posted on 23-11-2017 07:24 | By maildrop

With much much much less regularity Ken. Rather than having an uninformed, narrow minded, defensive and biased view, accept the problem NZ has, and try to influence a change to make our roads safer.


Posted on 22-11-2017 16:11 | By Kenworthlogger

They are just the same as those in Europe ah Maildrop! Same thing happens there too...


Posted on 22-11-2017 12:53 | By maildrop

We need to get these trucks fixed as they seem to have a mind of their own.

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