Truck, tractor hit head-on - drivers walk away

State Highway 1 just north of Hampden was closed for more than six  hours after  this tractor and...
State Highway 1 just north of Hampden was closed for more than six hours after this tractor and truck collided yesterday afternoon. Photo by Ben Guild.
Two men were lucky to walk away relatively unscathed after a truck and a tractor collided on a small bridge on State Highway 1, about 3.5km north of Hampden, yesterday afternoon.

The crash closed the highway for about three and-a-half hours, from about 4.30pm.

Constable Anton Perham, of Oamaru, said the two vehicles collided in the northbound lane of the bridge, which crosses Kakaho Creek.

The driver of the southbound tractor told police his front left-hand wheel had caught the bridge's steel protective barrier, firing his vehicle across the road into the path of the northbound truck, Const Perham said.

Neither man's injuries were thought to be serious, although the truck driver, a 43-year-old Timaru man, was cut out of his cab and taken to Dunedin Hospital by rescue helicopter, with a suspected chest injury.

Palmerston Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Geoff Davis said it took about 30 minutes to free the truck driver.

"He wasn't held by much at all," he said.

"We were very, very fortunate and could get him out.

"He was able to walk under his own steam, which was fantastic."

Seven firefighters from Palmerston and six from Hampden attended, he said.

It was not the first incident he had attended near the bridge, which lies on the south side of a wide, sweeping corner at the bottom of a long hill.

A police spokesman said the southbound lane reopened by 8pm, and northbound lane just before 11pm.

A police statement shortly after the crash warned no detour was available and motorists could expect a long delay.

Within hours of the crash, traffic was backed up about 2km in both directions.


Add a Comment




Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter