Third Summerland truck crash has police concerned

Another large Summerland Express Freight truck has crashed, this time on State Highway 1 south of Ashburton.

It is the third crash involving one of the transport company’s vehicles in three weeks.

A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said the truck and trailer unit rolled  about 4.40am, blocking SH1  for several hours.

The highway between Ashburton and Rangitata was closed and traffic was diverted.

No-one was hurt and the driver was  out of the overturned cab by the time fire crews arrived.

Acting Senior Sergeant Mike Moloney, of the police  South Island commercial vehicle safety team, said the team was already investigating the crash of two other Summerland trucks — one on SH1  near Palmerston on January 3, and another at the bottom of Pine Hill Rd, in North Dunedin, on December 22.

The January 3 crash left the driver with an arm injury and the December 22 crash left the driver in Dunedin Hospital with critical injuries.

"Clearly, three crashes in three weeks by the same operator is of concern to police, and we will be liaising with the NZ  Transport Agency over that."

Summerland’s  head office in Cromwell did not return calls from the Otago Daily Times yesterday.

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