Medical cause of crash

By Peter de Graaf

1 comment
The log truck came to rest in a garden just a few a hundred metres from the company depot. Photo / Peter de Graaf
The log truck came to rest in a garden just a few a hundred metres from the company depot. Photo / Peter de Graaf

A driver's death after a logging truck crash just a hundred metres from the company depot was caused by a medical condition, police say.

The accident occurred about 3.40am yesterday, as the truck driver was starting his first run of the day on Koropewa Rd, near Waipapa in the Bay of Islands.

Marks on the road showed the truckie ran into trouble almost as soon as he turned out of the depot, driving up on to a bank then veering across the road and into a garden, flattening trees and a fence before coming to rest against a shed.

Senior Sergeant Brian Swann of Kaikohe Police said the 57-year-old Mangamuka man was able to put on the handbrake, switch on his hazard lights and get out of the cab before collapsing on a driveway.

The residents, who were woken by the noise, called emergency services and tried in vain to revive him, as did ambulance officers.

"All indications are that it was a medical issue, not a mechanical issue or driver failure," Mr Swann said.

"We're very lucky it happened here, in a low-speed area, and not on the highway."

The crash was low speed with minimal damage to the truck and no visible injuries to the driver. It is understood the driver had been to see his doctor just last week about a heart condition.

His name had yet to be released at edition time yesterday. His death will not count towards Northland's road toll.

The police Serious Crash and Commercial Vehicle Investigation units were called out but stood down once it became clear the cause was medical.

- Northern Advocate

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