Staff mourn a top bloke

By Amy McGillivray

The Pukehina truck driver who died when his fertiliser truck rolled on a Te Ranga farm has been described as a "top bloke".

Darren Hockly, 40, was pinned under his truck when it rolled about 8m down a bank while he was spreading lime on a Te Matai Rd farm about noon on Tuesday.

Spreadmaster Transport owner Philip Robinson said it came as a huge shock to learn of the accident.

The father of two young girls was one of the Te Puke company's longest-serving drivers and had worked as a groundspread operator there for eight years.

"He was and extremely skilled and talented driver. He was a top bloke," Mr Robinson said. "He was just an easy going, nice guy. He got on with everybody. It's just an absolute tragedy."

The staff at Spreadmaster Transport were "totally ripped up" by his death, Mr Robinson said.

"He was an excellent bloke top notch. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends."

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is investigating the accident in conjunction with the police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit. The investigation could take up to six months.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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