A shaken driver has escaped
injury in a dramatic truck crash near Christchurch that has
highlighted post-quake road access for heavy vehicles.
The Jackson's Cranes and Haulage truck was carrying a
McMillan Drilling digger from Lyttelton to Christchurch, via
Gebbies Pass, shortly before noon yesterday when it rolled on
to its side while navigating a bend on the approach to
The driver was said to be shaken but uninjured. The road was
closed to remove the truck and digger.
Investigating officer Senior Constable Graham Flynn said the
slope of the road on the bend and the sheer weight of the
load were thought to be the biggest factors in the crash.
"I think [the truck operators] have taken all safety
precautions to try and deal with this but of course one of
the problems we've had since the earthquakes has been the
accessibility to Christchurch because there is no Evans Pass
any more so for loads like this, it's the only road they can
travel," Senior Constable Flynn said.
"If they were to repair Evans Pass (Sumner Rd) they wouldn't
have so far to go to get into Christchurch [from Lyttelton].
The only way they can travel is around through Gebbies Pass
and until that road is rectified we may even be looking at
more of this kind of thing happening."
Senior Constable Flynn said it had been fortunate the truck
did not roll off the road and down into the gully below the
"I think they were extremely lucky to come to rest the way
they have. Much more and they would been completely tipped
The investigation was yet to be completed but early
indications were that no charges would be laid over the
Witness Nicky McCaughan was cycling with three friends when
the "surreal" drama unfolded, as the truck tipped just 10
metres in front of her.
"I was biking past going up the hill and he was coming down
the hill to turn the corner but in order to do that he had to
come right across the other side of the road so we sort of
had to go off the road to allow him to be able to do that,"
"He was just coming down, taking it very slowly and coming
right round the corner and the bend was too sharp and too
steep [of an] incline. The whole back trailer just went flip
and his cab just went bang, poor guy."
Mrs McCaughan said she spoke to the driver after he climbed
free from the cab and he told her he had taken trucks with
big long trailers around that stretch of road before and they
had come close to tipping over.
- By Tom Doudney of the