Police examine fatal truck crash wreckage

Police are today examining the wreckage of a truck that plunged into a stream off The Desert Road yesterday, killing its driver.

Emergency services spent most of yesterday at the scene on State Highway 1, outside Tongariro National Park, after being called to the crash about 4.30am.

The body of the 50-year-old truck driver was not found until late in the day, after the cab of the partially submerged truck was lifted from the Waihohonu Stream using a crane.

The Porirua man's body was found in the water beneath the vehicle.

Police are expected to name him later today.

A police spokeswoman said staff were due to examine the truck after it was removed from the scene last night.

Police carried out a scene examination before handing over the scene to Environment Waikato about 9pm yesterday.

The fully-laden B-train truck had been carrying hazardous chemicals but none had leaked into the waterway.

Fears over a spill yesterday forced the closure of SH1 and the nearby Rangipo power station.

Waikato Regional Council emergency response manager Rob Dragten said contractors were continuing the clean-up operation today after council staff left the scene last night.

"We will continue to monitor the situation at that accident scene to satisfy ourselves that there will be no ongoing environmental problems there," he said.

- By Matthew Backhouse of APNZ

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