Moments after having her ute dragged 20m by a truck and trailer unit the female driver climbed from the crushed ute cab, put on a high visibility vest and started directing traffic around the crash on State Highway 1.

It was one of two crashes within two hours involving trucks in Northland yesterday.

Fortunately those involved were not seriously injured.

The woman was driving a pilot vehicle south when the collision with a truck and trailer unit, travelling in the same direction, happened about 11am.


Police said the pilot vehicle was dragged by the trailer unit about 20m as both the truck, trailer and ute crossed the northbound lane and crashed into a roadside drain, not far from the intersection with Finlayson Brook Rd, south of Waipū.

The truck and trailer was carrying a load of bagged cement and came to rest with the rear trailer lying across the front of the pilot ute.

Traffic was managed through one lane while the truck and trailer were unloaded and then lifted back on the road.

Constable Lindsay Weir said the female driver of the ute managed to free herself by climbing through the passenger's window and quickly donned a safety vest and started to direct traffic around the scene until emergency services arrived.

He said investigations into how the crash happened were continuing.

As some of the police left to continue patrolling the highway they were called to another crash on SH1 near Mata about 1pm.

A Northland Waste truck travelling north crashed off the road, crossing the southbound lane and rolling into a drain.

A rubbish truck crashed off SH1 at Mata, south of Whangarei. Photo / Tania Whyte
A rubbish truck crashed off SH1 at Mata, south of Whangarei. Photo / Tania Whyte

The truck driver was treated in a St John ambulance on the roadside and was not seriously injured.

The scene of a fatal pedestrian and vehicle crash just north of the entrance to Hikurangi on State Highway. Photo / Tania Whyte
The scene of a fatal pedestrian and vehicle crash just north of the entrance to Hikurangi on State Highway. Photo / Tania Whyte

Northland's road toll rose to 16 on Thursday after the death of a 45-year-old man who was walking with a woman in the rain and darkness and was struck by a vehicle.

It's believed the couple were hitchhiking north and had been given a lift from Whangārei and dropped at Hikurangi just before the fatality on SH1 about 6.40pm on Thursday.

Police are appealing for witnesses who may have seen the couple walking or gave them a lift before the incident that happened less than 100m from the George St entrance to Hikurangi on SH1.

Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson said the couple were walking north when the man was struck by a ute also travelling north.

The driver of the ute stopped and was part of a team that tried to help the injured man at the scene. An ambulance driver passing the scene stopped and people from a house next to the road climbed over their back fence and rushed to help as well.

Unfortunately the man died at the scene and the state highway was closed for several hours while police carried out their investigations. The woman was not injured and neither were the people in the ute.


"Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the couple walking along the road or may have given them a ride," Dickson said.

He publicly acknowledged the help of the ambulance officer and neighbours.

"They showed great compassion and community care."

He also issued a warning, saying the state highway was not a place to walk or hitchhike, particularly at night in heavy rain.

"It's hard for drivers to see in these conditions. If you have to hitchhike at night stay in well-lit areas.

"The dangers of hitchhiking can be minimised by travelling during the day."


If anyone can help police they should ring 105, leave a message for Senior Sergeant Steve Dickson and include their contact details.

Meanwhile, two men seriously injured in a crash on Thursday on State Highway 10 remained in hospital in a stable condition. One was in Middlemore Hospital while the other was recovering in Whangārei.

The vehicles involved, which were travelling in opposite directions, were a ute and a rental truck. The crash happened near the Whitehills transfer station, about 1km south of the Matauri Bay turnoff.

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