A Transport Accident Investigation Commission into the death of a Whakatāne man backs up a theory his brother has held close since the day the tragedy occurred.
Wayne William Faga (Fagasa), 48, was driving a Waste Management truck on Lambert Rd near Kawerau just after 11.30am on October 6, 2017, when a northbound train pulling empty logging carriages hit him on a level crossing.
He was thrown clear of the truck and collided with a strainer post, sustaining fatal injuries.
The report highlighted an issue with sight lines due to overgrown vegetation.
Yesterday, the day a report outlined the reason behind the crash was released, Wayne's brother spoke exclusively to the Rotorua Daily Post.
"I wish every day I could turn the clock back and go and get him and bring him home," George Faga said.
"I still have nightmares about holding my brother's broken body beside the road. I don't think that will ever go away."
Faga said he and his family had visited the crossing on occasion and there were always mixed emotions.
"Wayne's three daughters and one mokopuna often travel from Auckland to spend time with their dad. They take the guitar and they sing, they cry and they reminisce. They miss him," he said.
"I'm sad but I am also bitter that he died too young and in the manner he did.
"Wayne loved his job ... He was passionate about it and he was quick while doing it.
"I am absolutely sure Wayne would have been in the groove and doing what had to be done."
He said Wayne loved his children and grandchild very much and travelled often to spend weekends and holidays with them.
"He had lived with my wife and I and our children for over a decade and he was very much part of the whānau. I wish he could have met his second moko, my daughter Waiotehauorangatonutanga.
"Wayne was very much loved and he is missed."
Transport Accident Investigation Commission chief investigator of accidents, Captain Tim Burfoot, said the truck entered the crossing at about 48km/h and the train struck it at over 60km/h.
"It is very likely the truck did not stop at the stop signs," Burfoot said.
The commission found no issues with how the train was being driven and no technical issues with the truck that could have contributed to the accident.
However, it did highlight an issue with sight lines. It found that even if the truck had stopped, the view was insufficient for the driver of the truck to clear the level crossing from a stop if a train had been just out of view.
"Level crossing designers consider sighting distances for road users when determining what protection a crossing needs – like barriers and bells or just signage - but growth in vegetation can quickly change sighting distances, making level crossings that were once safe, unsafe," Burfoot said.
The commission also found that the legislation needed to be clearer on the allocation of responsibility between licensed rail access providers and road controlling authorities for ensuring the safety of rail users and road users at public road level crossings.
TAIC made four recommendations focused on the long-term need to clarify the legislation on responsibility for sight lines in the rail corridor, and the short-term need for licensed rail access providers and road controlling authorities to work together to ensure good sight lines at level crossings.
Faga said he was happy the report didn't lay blame.
"At the end of the day what happened, happened and we accept that."