The occupants of a ute had a lucky escape when their vehicle and a heavy truck collided at the intersection of State Highways 1 and 3 in Bulls.

The crash happened about 12.45pm on Thursday, January 18,. The highway was closed for about two hours and diversions put in place.

Bulls fire chief Brian Carter said the ute was shunted about 20m down the road when it was T-boned by a truck heading south from Whanganui.

"All the occupants of the vehicles were shaken but okay," Mr Carter said.

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"We had to pry the ute off the front of the truck then remove parts from the truck so it could be driven. The people in the ute were very lucky."

The truck was carrying butter so the hazardous materials unit that was being sent from Whanganui was turned back, Mr Carter said.