Helpers attend the accident scene after a dairy tanker and
bus collided near Mataura last night. Photo by The Ensign.
A neighbour heard a "sound like thunder" when a bus
slammed into a crashed milk tanker blocking two lanes of a
southern highway last night.
Police said eight people were taken to hospital, two via air
ambulance, but it is believed none had serious injuries.
The tanker was heading south on State Highway 1 when it
rolled just north of Mataura about 7.10pm.
The 48-seater bus, carrying 11 passengers from Invercargill
to Dunedin, collided with the crashed tanker.
As a result of the impact both tanks ruptured, spilling milk
into a highway side ditch.
Ritchies Transport managing director Andrew Ritchie, of
Auckland, said it was ''not a very pleasant accident''.
Mathew Grace, who lives near the scene, heard ''a sound like
thunder'' when the crash occurred.
He and his wife Lisa, who has first aid training, joined
other neighbours in rallying round to help, including by
The milk tanker was carrying milk for the Open Country dairy
company and it is understood the firm's milk transport is
contracted to Southern Milk Transport.
The state highway was re-opened at 3am.
Police investigators, including members of the Commercial
Vehicle Investigation Unit are investigating the incident.