Summerland crashes to be investigated

A Summerland Express Freight truck lost its load of groceries after crashing on State Highway 1 near Palmerston yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
A Summerland Express Freight truck lost its load of groceries after crashing on State Highway 1 near Palmerston yesterday. Photo: Stephen Jaquiery
The New Zealand Police commercial vehicle safety team will be investigating the crash of another Summerland Express Freight truck, this time on State Highway 1 near Palmerston yesterday.

The incident comes less than two weeks after a Summerland truck crashed at the bottom of Pine Hill Rd, in North Dunedin, leaving the driver in Dunedin Hospital with critical injuries.

In yesterday's crash, the fully laden truck left the road at 3am, about 3km south of Palmerston, leaving groceries strewn across the side of the road.

A police spokeswoman said the driver received an arm injury and was taken to Dunedin Hospital by ambulance.

The road was closed for about two hours while groceries and the truck were removed from the scene.

Diversions were in place but it created long queues of large trucks which could not use the detours.

A spokesman confirmed the safety team would investigate both yesterday's and the December 22 incidents.

He could not comment further until the investigations were complete, he said.

The investigation may inform the NZ Transport Agency which is conducting an investigation into the safety of the Great King St intersection near the Dunedin Botanic Garden as a result of the December 22 crash.

The driver appeared to lose control and the truck rolled on to its side, snapping a mature tree off at its base, bending a steel light pole to a right angle and spewing a trail of white plasterboard behind it before coming to a stop at the intersection.

An NZTA spokeswoman said the Great King St and Pine Hill Rd intersection was being investigated for safety improvements.

Summerland Express Freight did not return calls from the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

john.lewis@odt.co.nz

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