Warning: Graphic Images.

Police have praised motorists who endured long delays after a truck crash that led to sheep heads and animal remains strewn across a highway near Gisborne.

Emergency crews were called to the accident at State Highway 2 at Kotemaori, south of Wairoa, about 7am.

Police were forced to close off the road for several hours as authorities worked to remove the vehicles and clear the offal.

The driver of the truck and trailer unit, which was carrying offal, was treated at the scene by St John ambulance staff from Wairoa but did not need to go to hospital.

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Late tonight, police released a statement thanking motorists who were caught up in the traffic.

"Wairoa Police would like to acknowledge the tolerance shown by drivers who were delayed during a crash on State Highway 2 today.

"Many motorists had urgent appointments and travel connections, which they missed - so we really appreciated their understanding,'' Senior Sergeant Tony Bates said.

The accident happened about 7am on State Highway 2 at Kotemaori south of Wairoa. Photo / Tim Warrington
The accident happened about 7am on State Highway 2 at Kotemaori south of Wairoa. Photo / Tim Warrington

Earlier, Wairoa deputy fire chief Barry Gasson said: "The trailer had gone onto its side in the watertable and the truck was on its side blocking both lanes of the highway.

"The accident happened on a hairpin bend and about three quarters of the truck's load spilled onto the road.

"You are talking sheep heads and other animal remains, along with diesel and oil from the truck," he said.

"It was all over the road."

Gasson said the spill had made the road surface extremely hazardous.

Two cranes from Napier were brought in to right the truck and trailer and contractors got on with the nasty job of cleaning up the mess on the road.

Police advised motorists to avoid the area and be patient.

No detours were available.

Meanwhile, another crash blocking State Highway 1 in Huntly has been cleared.

A car and van collided outside Countdown about 7.30am, and a police spokeswoman said one person was taken to hosptal as a precaution.