Road's collapse flips tanker

By Amy McGillivray

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A Hamilton-bound truck rolled down a 2m bank into a ditch, trapping the driver. Photo/John Borren
A Hamilton-bound truck rolled down a 2m bank into a ditch, trapping the driver. Photo/John Borren

The driver of a truck and trailer that rolled in the Kaimai Range was last night trapped for more than half an hour after a section of SH29 gave way, Tauranga police say.

Emergency services and Bay of Plenty Regional Council were called to the intersection of State Highway 29 and Poripori Rd at 4.30pm when the Hamilton-bound truck rolled down a 2m bank of the southern side of the highway and into a ditch.

The truck, which was carrying non-toxic dairy by-products rolled after a section of road "gave way", Senior Sergeant Cameron Anderson said.

"There are a lot of road works up that way at the moment and it appears a section of road just gave way."

Non-toxic green liquid was pouring from a vent on top of the truck and flowing down the hill when emergency services arrived, with firefighters working to prevent the liquid entering the waterways.

Mr Anderson said both lanes of the highway were closed while a second tanker sucked green liquid from the damaged vehicle after the accident.

"The Bay of Plenty Regional Council were at the scene and they have confirmed the liquid was not toxic," he said.

Greerton firefighter Paul van Kol said the driver had to be cut from his cab.

"We had to smash his windscreen and cut away a few bit to get at him. He had a sore neck and was taken to Tauranga Hospital with possible spinal injuries," he said.

A 48-year-old truck driver suffered serious injuries after crashing at SH29 near Ruahihi Rd last Monday.

The truck had been travelling towards Tauranga when police said it crossed the centre line and crashed into the ditch about 12.45pm.

The crash forced the closure of SH29 for several hours.

additional reporting Kiri Gillespie

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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