Driver missing after crash named

A picture of the crash site taken from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.
A picture of the crash site taken from the Westpac Rescue Helicopter.

The driver missing after his truck plunged off State Highway 1 near Kaikoura is Stuart James Barnes, 59.

Mr Barnes, from Papakura, is a driver for Freightlines.

Police released the name today after the third day of searching at the crash scene.

Specialist alpine cliff teams today searched the banks in the vicinity of the crash and river bed, and freight has been removed from the floor of the ravine.

The driver has still not been located.

Police said the search will resume tomorrow, when a digger would search the large amount of debris and rubble from the crash in the ravine.

The extensively damaged truck and 7m trailer were lifted out by a crane yesterday.

A ground search team has been on site today, and the search was expected to continue into the evening.

Emergency services were alerted to the crash on the Hundalee Hill south of Kaikoura about 5.30am on Wednesday.

Rescue teams have abseiled down the 25m bank, and been winched down by helicopter, and an infra-red camera has also been used in the search.

The highway has been reduced to one lane in the area, causing some delays.

- APNZ

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