A driver was lucky to escape serious injury when his truck plunged off State Highway 2 at Norsewood on Monday night.

"We received the call at 6.15 on Monday night when the articulated truck, heading south, ended up over the bank," Terence Ahern, the Norsewood Volunteer Fire Brigade's chief, told the Dannevirke News.

"It was exactly the same location as the double fatality last year, but this time although the driver was shaken, he wasn't seriously hurt and was out of the truck when we arrived."

The accident occurred at the place where 38-year-old Aaron McDonald and his son Cruz, 8, died when the truck they were in plummeted over the bank in January last year.

The site is regarded as a notorious accident blackspot on the highway.


Mr Ahern said because there were initial reports the truck was spilling petrol, he upped the callout to brigades to a level three, with teams from Dannevirke, Ormondville and Takapau backing up the Norsewood brigade.

A command vehicle was also on the scene from Hawke's Bay.

"We had this big turnout as a precaution because of the fear of a petrol spill," Mr Ahern said.

"When our crew arrived the truck's tanks were ruptured and the contents were rushing down the road."

However, the Norsewood brigade was able to quickly ascertain from the truck driver and his documentation that the spill wasn't fuel, but rather AdBlue, a non-explosive, non-flammable product.

"This mitigated the risk, but we had to close the road and ensure the clean-up didn't contaminate the Manawatu River," Mr Ahern said.

Horizons Regional Council staff had been on site to check the state of the river and the road remained closed overnight Monday with detours in place.

Yesterday morning, a heavy-lift crane was brought in from Palmerston North to haul the truck back on to the road.

The road was expected to reopen yesterday afternoon.