A coroner's inquest has begun in Christchurch this morning to examine the death of a truck driver in Arthur's Pass.

Piki Lewis Jones was killed when his fully laden truck and trailer crashed down a gorge on the Otira Highway in 2011.

The 34 year-old was thought to have been killed instantly when his rig ran into the back of another truck, and then plunged over the steep bank to the gorge floor.

An investigation was launched by police, but the exact cause of the accident was never identified.

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The inquest began at 10am at Christchurch and is set down for the week.