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