Truck driver in fatal crash named

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The driver in the Pongakawa truck crash who died has been named. Photo/Andrew Warner
The driver in the Pongakawa truck crash who died has been named. Photo/Andrew Warner

The man killed in a crash on State Highway 2 near Pongakawa yesterday morning has been named by police as Martin John Ferry of Tauranga.

Mr Ferry was 30 years old.

Police said the investgation into the crash was ongoing.

Head of Western Bay road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said an empty logging truck was waiting to turn from State Highway 2 into Pongakawa Station Rd when Mr Ferry's truck-and-trailer unit collided into its rear.

The driver of the logging truck was taken to Tauranga Hospital for assessment.

Pongakawa resident Ian Scott said knew the intersection well. He had lived in the area for more than a year and also visited the family farm for two decades.

"Plenty of people don't like this intersection," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

Mr Scott said it was one of the "worst" intersections in the district.

"One of the biggest problems is there is no designated turning bay, and anyone waiting to turn often blocks up half of the road.

"Also on the other side, when vehicles pull off SH2, because it's not a wide stretch of road it can often be blocked completely and traffic starts to pile up," Mr Scott said.

Another resident, who didn't want to be named, said he had lived in the area for about 20 years, and regularly travelled the busy intersection.

"It's well used by lots of heavy transport, especially logging trucks heading to Te Puke and Tauranga. Because this is a long straight road people's speed tends to pick up."

The resident said he would like the speed limit on Pongakawa Station Rd reduced from 100km/h to 80km/h as an extra safety measure.

This is the 14th death on Western Bay roads this year and comes just days after Tauranga father-of-two Shayne Peter Waaka, 40, was killed in a two-car collision on SH29 in the Lower Kaimai Range on October 7.

Other fatalities on Western Bay roads in 2016

April 16: Cyclist Shinia Matehaere, 5, killed on Matapihi Rd after a collision with a ute.

May 7: Tauranga man Dion Pollero, 29, died after his car collided with a truck on SH29 on the Kaimai Range.

May 21: Te Hira Whittaker-Ngaropo, 12, and his brother Chance, 16, died when their vehicle crashed on SH2 in Pikowai, near Pukehina.

July 29: Leigh Antoinette Rhodes, 60, and her friend Kenny McRae, died after being struck by a vehicle while changing a tyre on SH29A between Baypark and Maungatapu.

August 2: Sitiveni Vaipulu, 44, Koli Vaipulu, 21, Halani Fine, 28, Samuela Taukatelata, 28, and Sione Teulaka, 21, died after their car collided with a logging truck on intersection of SH2 and Dawson Rd.

August 27: Respected Bay elder Paula Heke died after her car collided with another vehicle on Te Puna Rd, next to the intersection of Te Puna Station Rd.

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