A truck driver is dead after a fully laden truck and trailer unit rolled down a bank leaving a timber mill in Whangarei.

Serious crash investigator Jim Hawthorn said the truck had remained down the bank overnight as a crane was only available today to lift the truck and trailer back on to the road.

The alarm was raised about 11.30am yesterday.

Mr Hawthorn said the truck and trailer had been full with wood chips from the Carter Holt Harvey Mill off Union East Street in Whangarei. The driver had pulled into a loading area where drivers levelled out their vehicle's loads and put tarpaulins on.


Mr Hawthorn said for some reason the truck had gone out of that area a short distance and then gone to the right and rolled down a steep bank.

The driver was found dead outside the cab near the rear of the trailer.

Police were working with Department of Labour investigators. The man had not been named at edition time.

Mr Hawthorn said the man's body had been removed, but the area had been secured and extraction of the vehicle would begin this morning.