A log falling off a truck and trailer unit metres away from horrified motorists at a busy intersection was one of a number of incidents that snarled traffic during peak morning rush in Whangarei.
Motorists heading through the Kiripaka Rd intersection into central Whangarei were shocked to see a log fell off a logging truck's trailer, narrowly missing a car, between 8am and 8.30am yesterday.
A failure of traffic lights at Whau Valley, major roadworks through Whangarei and police closing part of Kamo Rd while investigating shots fired at officers, all combined to bring the morning commute into Whangarei to a standstill at times. Roadworks at Kensington and on Western Hills Dr also contributed to the crawl. One commuter reported that her normal 15 minute drive to work took almost an hour.
Long traffic queues on Kamo Rd, Western Hills Dr, Kiripaka Rd, and Hatea Dr and side roads delayed work and school for hundreds of commuters and students.
Road workers with stop-go signs were posted at the Kamo bypass, where a traffic light malfunction held up traffic along Kamo Rd, particularly between 7.30am and 8.30am.
Kamo Rd between Percy St and Keyte St intersections was closed to all traffic between about 2am and 9am yesterday after a car crashed on Kamo Rd during a police pursuit. The driver then got out, fired at the unarmed officers and took off in their patrol car, sparking a major manhunt.
Traffic heading north along Kamo Rd was diverted through Keyte St and those heading into the city via Percy St. Queues cleared just after 9am when the crashed car was towed away and the traffic lights were fixed.
The logging truck and trailer unit headed along Puna Rere Dr, on to Spedding Rd and was turning right on to Kiripaka Rd heading into town when a log fell off, bounced on the road and came to rest on the side of the road. A passing police car was flagged down by Whangarei artist Stacy Morrison on Spedding Rd and informed about the incident before the truck driver was stopped on Hatea Dr and spoken to.
No charges had been laid by edition time yesterday.
Ms Morrison was driving along Kiripaka Rd and heading north via Puna Rere Dr when she saw the truck and trailer unit come around the corner and a log falling off.
"I beeped the horn and tried to wave down the truck driver but he continued driving. I then turned left and saw a police car and waved it down and told the officer what happened," she said.
Ms Morrison said she couldn't understand how a log came off the truck at the busy intersection and luckily no one was injured.
Retiree Ron Doel was on his morning walk along the Whangarei Falls side of Kiripaka Rd when he saw a log fall off the truck. He was about 50 metres from the intersection. "The log on the rear trailer moved forward and hit the ground. It just missed a white car that stopped at the intersection to turn," he said.
Mr Doel said the truck driver continued on his journey without realising what happened.
"Luckily there were no kids around or that the log didn't hit a car or something. It was quite dangerous," he said. The fallen log was cleared about an hour later.