A Whakatane man who died when a train hit his truck on Friday morning has been honoured with a "last-day-of work".
Wayne William Faga (Fagasa), 48, was driving a Waste Management truck on Lambert Rd near Kawerau just after 11.30am on Friday when a northbound train pulling empty logging carriages hit him on a level crossing.
His Whakatane family, including his brother George Faga, were made aware of the collision shortly after it happened and were on the scene quickly.
Once the train had been moved, the family held a karakia at the scene.
At noon yesterday Mr Faga was taken from the Gateway funeral parlour to Te Tahi St where the Waste Management yard and the Whakatane Recovery Centre are located, for his final "clock-in, clock-out".
He had worked at Waste Management for more than five years.
A rousing haka was performed at the entry gates of the yard before his work colleagues walked beside the hearse as it made its way to the recycling centre where Mr Faga emptied his truck on workdays.
As they walked one of his colleagues broke into a rendition of Hotel California but substituted versus with personal comments about Mr Faga including talking about his humility, his quiet ways and how he would be missed.
"We will hang a photo of you bro and we will say hello every morning before we do your run," he said.
At the recycling centre the hearse was weighed and the docket brought out and given to his partner in the passenger seat. The hearse then completed a turning lap at the centre to cries of "finish your job Wayno, finish your job".
While the Waste Management truck is being held by police as part of their investigation, debris from the site was "pushed up" (pushed forward by an excavator driven by a friend) as Mr Faga's colleagues looked on.
He was then taken home to Piripai for a few hours before being taken to Hokowhitu a Tu Marae where his tangi is to be held tomorrow.
Mr Faga was born in Invercargill but spent many years in Auckland before moving to Whakatane 10 years ago. He is survived by his four children and one grandchild.
His brother George, a teacher in Whakatane, said his death was still hard to comprehend.
"He was with us Friday morning then he was gone Friday afternoon.
"Wayne will be missed every day. He was a quiet man, he didn't often say much, but he was always doing [things] for those he loved."
Bay of Plenty police said yesterday that Mr Faga's westbound truck and a northbound locomotive, which was pulling empty log carriages, collided on a level crossing at Lambert Rd.
Police said they would like to thank the members of the public who had so far helped with their inquiries.
The serious crash unit continues to investigate.
Any witnesses to the crash who have not yet spoken to police are asked to contact Whakatane Police Station on (07) 308 5255.