The wreckage of a courier van after a crash near Lawrence
yesterday in which driver Gavin George Anderson was killed.
Photo by Helena de Reus
A Dunedin family is in shock after a courier driver died
early yesterday when his van crashed into a power pole near
Gavin George Anderson (66) was driving on State Highway 8,
less than 1km south of the South Otago town, when he crashed
into the power pole about 5.15am.
The impact brought down live power lines around his vehicle
and cut electricity to more than 500 consumers while also
closing State Highway 8 for more than nine hours.
Emergency services were unable to reach Mr Anderson until the
lines had been made safe at 6.35am.
Mr Anderson's wife, Kay, said the family was trying to come
to terms with what had happened and were in shock.
She said her husband had worked for New Zealand Couriers for
17 years, and drove the Dunedin-to-Queenstown run.
Senior Constable Robert Wallace, of Lawrence, said Mr
Anderson was the van's sole occupant.
A PowerNet spokesman said staff from the company's
contractor arrived shortly after 6am and worked to make the
lines safe, allowing some access to the wreckage for emergency
services to check on the driver at 6.35am.
The spokesman said 506 customers were without power for more
than eight hours.
Police said a scene examination was delayed because of
hazardous substances leaking from the vehicle, thought to be
paint stripper or a similar substance.
The substance was cleared by lunchtime, allowing Mr
Anderson's body to be removed by emergency services.
Power was restored by 1.45pm yesterday and the road reopened
Lawrence and Waitahuna volunteer fire brigades, police and
New Zealand Transport Agency and Otago Regional Council staff
all attended the scene.
An investigation into the cause of the crash is under way,
but police said no other vehicles appeared to have been
Anyone who saw the courier van travelling on State Highway 8
early yesterday is asked to contact police on (03) 418-0203.
The matter has been referred to the coroner.