A truck and trailer both laden with engineered wood panels became airborne in a spectacular crash south of Kaitaia.

Miraculously, the driver walked away from the scene of destruction, which closed the highway in both directions.

Witnesses said the trailer left the road on State Highway 1, about 5km south of Kaitaia, flipping and taking the lead truck with it.

The awestruck eyewitnesses watched on from a hill above the highway as the curtain-sided truck and trailer soared through the air.


The truck landed almost on its nose in a deep drain, 40m further south on the other side of the road. The trailer was left upside down across the road.

Fortunately, there was no oncoming traffic at the time.

Triboard - a 3-layered panel with a wood strand core - was spilled over both lanes, closing the highway to traffic in both directions.

The truck driver did not appear to be hurt and was seen walking - without assistance - to an ambulance, where he was checked by the St John crew.

The same corner was the scene of a collision between a ute carrying gas bottles and an Armourguard van on Wednesday last week.

As a result of Monday's truck crash, State Highway 1 was closed between Ohaeawai and Kaitaia.

The NZ Transport Agency advised motorists to avoid the area and to expect delays while the road was cleared.

NZTA had no estimate of how long the clean up operation would take.

Police said diversions were in place, although the the alternative routes were unsealed roads and might not be suitable for some heavy traffic.

The easiest for those travelling in either direction was Church Road/Clough Road, from Kaitaia to Double Crossing.