Police have charged two men with careless driving causing death over a fatal truck crash between Arthurs Pass and Greymouth.

Pikiora Lewis Jones, 34, of Napier, was killed when the truck he was driving plunged 24 metres off a steep and narrow section of Otira Highway in June last year.

He was thought to have died instantly when his rig ran into the back of another truck, then plunged over to the edge of the Otira River.

His body was trapped in the cab for a day as emergency services used ropes to climb down to the wreckage and cut him free.

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Police today said two men had been jointly charged with carelessly operating a vehicle causing death over the crash.

They were set to appear in the Greymouth District Court on February 14.

- HERALD ONLINE