A forestry worker whose 4WD plunged off Parihauhau Rd down a cliff was wearing a seatbelt at the time, his father says.

The man, a 23-year-old logging foreman who sustained three fractured vertebrae, concussion and bruising from the crash, was on his way to work about 7.15am on Saturday when he moved to the side of the road to avoid an oncoming vehicle. But there wasn't enough room and his 4WD slid off the road and plummeted several metres down a cliff.

His father, who did not want to be named, said it was miraculous his son survived the plunge: "He's not a small lad at 6-foot 4."

He said his son was wearing a seatbelt but, once his vehicle started to roll, he removed it to try and escape the 4WD. He doesn't remember what happened after that but ended up in the stream about 5m from the vehicle.


The man has been discharged from Whanganui Hospital and is resting up at home. He's likely to be off work for some time as he recovers from his injuries.

The father said his son wanted to thank those who had helped rescue him and hospital staff.

He had been on his way to work with his crew. They were meant to be travelling in the same vehicle, but his two workmates were travelling to the logging site in a separate vehicle because one of them had a migraine and went to purchase medicine for it.

They were travelling behind him and discovered the crash after noticing tyre marks running off the road.