Rest Area 300m: A sad day by the river.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A sad day by the river.

Click picture for bigger version

The crash we attended yesterday is front page news in the Taranaki Daily News.(probably short term link)

The Truck was travelling north towards the camera, the car south away from the camera.

The loaded truck went over the bank in the left foreground.

The car is very close to the original impact point, but has been spun around, the truck has climbed over the car, running over the passengers side.

The front suspension on the truck, always a trucks most vulnerable point in an accident, has collapsed and the truck continued across the corner and over the bank.

Unbelievably the car driver survived with "minor injuries"

Two 50 tonne cranes are used to recover the truck.
The "Bathtub" trailer unit first.

It is a job that requires skill and orchestration

Then the truck tractor unit.

This all takes time, and traffic builds up. We have to send a truck with signs and flashers out quite some distance to warn unsuspecting drivers hurtling up to the tail of the queue.

Something that is not often seen by the public, is a blessing done at the scene when there has been a fatality.

The transporter & cranes leave, and as the traffic finally flows, we clean up.

The next day we read the local paper

In my time I have been a reporter, truck driver & road worker, but not a crash investigator, though I have seen many many accident scenes, ...It's part of my job.
Obviously my views are just that.
My views.

Having said that, ...
The wishful "heroic truck driver" steering away from disaster, is usually just wishful thinking. Nearly any major impact damages the front suspension and steering, often the spring hangers, so that the whole front axle can pivot. Physics then take over, the driver is helpless.

So, ... "While police were not prepared to speculate, several eyewitnesses had told them they believed the truck driver had averted a more serious head-on collision with the car by driving over the adjacent river bank." (Daily News)

Is rubbish.
Also there were no eyewitnesses.

"Several upset and angry truck drivers waiting in traffic yesterday morning asked why the road was not better maintained. The crash corner had not been tarsealed when other nearby roads had been, one said.

That would be because it didn't need it.

This was a sad and tragic accident, a sobering one if you are a truck driver. I believe he was confronted by a car on the wrong side of the road.

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