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Cheating death

A logging truck tipped over on Monday afternoon on Blairlogie-Langdale Rd, just off Masterton-Castlepoint Rd. PHOTO/ARTHUR HAWKES

Alcohol a factor in bad driving
Six road crashes over Sunday and Monday, miraculously, led to no deaths. ALEYNA MARTINEZ and ARTHUR HAWKES report.

There were no deaths on Wairarapa roads over the past few days, but with a shockingly high volume of crashes, the picture could have been a lot worse.

Just before 1pm on Monday, a logging truck rolled over after encountering some softer ground on the roadside.

The truck crashed over into the ditch on Blairlogie-Langdale Rd, just before the Masterton-Castlepoint Rd intersection..

The driver was unharmed but the truck was severely damaged.

It was reported that the driver had pulled over slightly to let another vehicle pass and strayed off the harder tarmac.

This caused the side to drop and the load to shift, pulling over and smashing the cab and driver, and the first trailer.

The rear trailer was left standing upright, its logs still fixed in place.

Masterton Fire Brigade and the police responded to the incident, located about 25km east of Masterton.

Doug Flowerday, fire station officer, said that, after establishing the truck driver was safe, the fire crew’s chief concern was a major fuel leak coming from the damaged vehicle.

“The diesel tank of the truck was leaking quite badly, so we stemmed the flow of the leak and then pumped the tank empty into a drum.”

Flowerday said that there was also a potential impact to the environment, which meant the government had to be contacted regarding the toxicity of the fuel to ecosystems.

“There were representatives of [Greater Wellington Regional Council] out there as well, to assess the spillage.

“We’re obliged to let the regional council know because there is an environmental aspect to it – we estimated approximately 50 litres of diesel went on to the ground.”

It was reported that a crane had been called to right the truck, which was left on its side for several hours.

It capped off a long weekend of serious crashes.

The previous night, a woman was trapped in her car on Masterton-Castlepoint Rd after she collided with a power pole, a fence, and a tree. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

On Sunday evening, just after 6pm, the fire service had to cut a woman out of her car after she hit a power pole, a fence, and then a tree, leaving her trapped inside the severely damaged vehicle. This also happened on the Masterton-Castlepoint Rd.

Fire and Emergency staff member Justin Long said the crew needed the “extrication gear, to cut the patient out to get them into the ambulance”.

The police reported that the driver knocked a power pole before coming to a stop about 50 metres away, which cut the power to Watson Rd.

“Field crews were dispatched and found that the car had knocked a fuse out of place, which was safely repaired by 7.25pm,” a Powerco spokesperson said.

The driver was taken to Wairarapa Hospital with moderate injuries and was discharged on Monday.

Earlier on Sunday morning, a 25-year-old man, carrying three passengers, lost control of his vehicle and blasted through the Mobil service station on the corner of Te Ore Ore Rd and State Highway 2 at 4.30am.

He crashed into a light pole on the western side of the forecourt, after reportedly missing the petrol pumps by a hair’s width.

“Speed and alcohol appear to be a factor,” Acting Senior Sergeant Shayne Nolan said.

There were miraculously no injuries to report, despite the fact that the group “hit the power pole quite hard after quite a considerable slide”.

“That one could have been really bad,” Nolan said of the incident.

At around the same time, on the Remutaka hill road, a female driver, without a licence, carrying a passenger, lost control of her vehicle driving north toward Featherston.

She crossed into the oncoming lane where the “bridge is divided down the middle”.

Nolan said she was spotted by a police officer on patrol who witnessed the driver veer over to the other side of the road.

“Fortunately there was no oncoming traffic.”

Nolan said these were quite separate incidents, in different circumstances, but in both cases alcohol appeared to be a factor, as did dangerous driving.

“I think there is an element of youth and recklessness with it, but it was just lucky that neither resulted in death, serious injury or serious damage to any property.”

There was also a single-vehicle crash in Carterton on Monday afternoon, just before the logging truck crash.

A further crash was reported on Monday night, a vehicle plunging into a ditch on SH53, near Tauherenikau at about 5.45pm. Once again, no injuries were reported.

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