Woman trapped as log falls on car

By Kiri Gillespie, Sonya Bateson -
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A woman had to be cut free after  a log fell on to her car near Paengaroa yesterday.
A woman had to be cut free after a log fell on to her car near Paengaroa yesterday.

A woman travelling through Paengaroa narrowly avoided serious injury when a loose log crashed on to her small car, pinning her inside.

The woman had to be cut free from her car after the log fell from a fully laden logging truck and crashed on to her bonnet at the intersection of SH2 and SH33 at about 4pm.

The section of SH2 was shut down as firefighters worked to free the woman.

Sergeant Nigel Ramsden of the road policing unit said the truck driver had been passing over the railway crossing when he had to brake hard to avoid hitting a car slowing down in front of him.

Mr Ramsden said it appeared the combination of going over the rise in the road and sudden braking caused three logs to fall from the truck.

"One bounced on the road and hit a white hatchback heading towards Whakatane.

"The driver had to be cut free from the car and very luckily only had minor injuries.

"The passenger also had minor injuries and both were taken to hospital to be checked over."

Mr Ramsden said the logging truck driver was "a bit shaken".

He said the crash was a reminder for motorists to be aware of stopping distances and to leave a safe gap between vehicles, especially when travelling at speed.

The Bay of Plenty Times spoke to Te Puke Golf Club manager Scott Evans soon after the crash.

Mr Evans said he saw firefighters trying to free the woman and there were logs all over the road.

"There's a logging truck truck and trailer. It looks like maybe a chain has come loose and the logs have come off. One's landed on a car."

Mr Evans said the damage to the car did not look too bad considering the log was on it but it was clear the firemen either could not get her out or were concerned about moving her.

Traffic was diverted through Maketu and Paengaroa while the road was closed. Meanwhile, a man was found unconscious but breathing after coming off a motorcycle at the junction of State Highway 2 and Bell Rd last night.

A Serious Crash Unit from Whakatane was called to attend the scene about 7.30pm yesterday and northbound SH2 traffic was diverted through Papamoa.

Acting Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson said it appeared the 40-year-old hit a curb, knocking himself out.

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