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Te Poi fatal closes highway between Tauranga and Hamilton


Te Poi fatal closes highway between Tauranga and Hamilton


Wednesday, 11 December 2013 - 7:28am


Motorists travelling between Tauranga and Hamilton this morning are being told to expect delays following a fatal crash that has presented a number of challenges to responding emergency services.

Waikato Police District Shift Manager, Acting Senior Sergeant Dale Smith, said a sharp eyed truck driver was being credited for raising the alarm about the early morning crash which happened on SH29, about 1km west of Te Poi about 1.45am.

"The driver of the truck and trailer unit noticed a large utility pull in behind him from a lay-by and follow him over the Kaimais, the vehicle then continued to tail him through Te Poi when he noticed a bright flash in his rear view mirror.

"Turning his truck and trailer unit around, the driver found a severely damaged utility upside down with a power pole fallen on top of it. To compound issues further, not only were there live power lines posing a risk, the utility had been carrying a load of beehives and the inhabitants of these hives were understandably agitated."

Mr Smith said fire, police and ambulance staff were joined by power company employees who made the scene safe enough for emergency services to attend the sole occupant of the utility but he was unable to be saved.

"SH29 is expected to be closed for several hours as work goes on to recover the driver's body and remove the vehicle and smashed power pole.

"An off duty Police officer, who is also a bee keeper, has been bought in to assist with the recovery of the hives with several of the attending emergency service personnel having experienced several stings."

Mr Smith said drivers travelling between Tauranga and Hamilton could expect delays with diversions having been established west of Te Poi via Rangitunuku Rd and west of the village via SH24/ Tauranga Rd.

This morning's fatality brings the Waikato road toll to 20 compared to 43 for the same period last year.

End

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