Driver frees himself after truck crashes down bank

By STAFF REPORTERS


The driver of a truck and trailer unit which went over a bank on the Titiokura stretch of SH5 this morning was able to get himself out of the cab and escaped serious injury.

When emergency services arrived at the scene, between Te Pohue and Te Haroto, the 72-year-old driver was "walking about", police said.

The unit, which he had been driving from Taupo to Napier, had rolled about 15m down the bank just before 7am.

The crash happened on a four-lane stretch of the highway about 2km north of the Titiokura summit. While the highway remained open it had been reduced to three lanes as recovery crews moved into place.

The recovery was expected to take much of the day and motorists were advised to drive through the area with caution.

Police crash investigators were at the scene but said it was too early to say what had caused the crash. Light rain had fallen overnight but road conditions were dry when emergency services were on the scene this morning.

The truck and trailer, operated by Waharoa Transport, was carrying bags of salt.

It is understood the alarm was raised by the driver of a second of the company's trucks which had been travelling with the crashed unit.

The crash was preceded by two further accidents in the province yesterday afternoon.

Two fire appliances and two ambulances attended a single vehicle accident south of Pakipaki about 2.32pm, where a northbound vehicle carrying two female teenagers flipped and ended up on its roof. One of the teenagers was left lying on the road at the rear of the vehicle.

Other motorists attended to the victim, who was taken by ambulance to Hawke's Bay Hospital.

This morning the 16-year-old driver was listed as in a stable condition.

The SH2 scene was closed for 45 minutes. No other vehicles were involved and police were not looking for anyone else in relation to the accident.

A few hours later police attended an incident 20km west of Omahu where a car crashed through a fence, descended a bank and came to rest in a paddock.

One female occupant was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital but was later discharged.

No other details were available at time of going to print.

- HAWKES BAY TODAY

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