Wednesday, March 3, 2010

More logging truck crashes


As we have commented before, logging trucks are the most dangerous vehicles on the road, as well as the most damaging to the road surface. Last week a logging truck made the national news when it crashed and jackknified on a bridge south of Foxton. Luckily no-one was hurt on that occasion (except maybe the truck driver). Not so fortunate, however, was the victim of another incident, the full story of which is reproduced below from stuff.co.nz

Why do these trucks need to travel parallel to the North Island Main Trunk railway all the way from the Manawatu to Wellington wharf - why can't the copious quantity of logs travel on the railway? Any answers anyone?

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Covered in broken glass and with her "best mate" slumped unconscious beside her, Amiria Maihi had just two seconds to pull her dying uncle's truck to the roadside.

"People tell me it was brave, but it did not save him," the 18-year-old said yesterday, after farewelling Taylor Schouwenaars at his tangi at Waikanae's Whakarongotai Marae.

Mr Schouwenaars, 36, was killed when a three-metre log came loose from a passing vehicle and hit his truck's wing mirror, smashing it into the cab and hitting him in the head.

Miss Maihi was sitting in the passenger seat when the accident happened on State Highway 1 near Porirua about 6.50am on Friday.

She had never driven a truck before, but knew instinctively that she had to act immediately. "I had about two seconds. The glass hit me so I jumped over, got the truck to the side of the road and pulled it up."

She rang emergency services as soon as she stopped the eight-wheeler Big Chill Distribution truck. She could not get any reaction from her uncle.

"Once he was hit, he was pretty well unconscious straight away. He couldn't say nothing, he just bled. I was talking to him but he was not responding. It felt like forever for emergency services to arrive."

As she sat waiting for about 10 minutes for the emergency services, other trucks and cars drove past.

"No-one stopped. I was just doing it all myself with the lady on the phone. Truck drivers just drove past – I was pretty pissed off."

Police say her quick actions prevented further "carnage" on the road.

Mr Schouwenaars was flown to Wellington Hospital in a critical condition and died shortly before midday.

Ms Maihi had been her uncle's cab buddy for about a year. "He was like my best mate. I was able to open up to him. He did not judge me, made sure I was all right, happy – what a normal friend would do."

She would miss him and "love him for always".

Mr Schouwenaars' partner, who gave her name only as Kiri, described him as a marvellous man whose toothless grin lit up other people's lives.

"His face just gleamed `welcome'. He was a man of many people, much loved, a huge attraction to others – the young, teenagers, middle-aged and elderly – he touched everybody.

"He had this charisma about him, that smile and laugh, that made people crack up with him."

The couple had two children – Kararaina, 3 months, and Hinemoa, 2 – and Mr Schouwenaars had two older children aged 9 and 11.

The 20-year-old driver of the truck that lost its log has been interviewed by police, who said he carried on around a corner before pulling over to check his truck.

He noticed the log was missing but did not return to check for any damage or injuries. Police were waiting for results of vehicle and forensic tests before deciding on possible charges.

7 comments:

johan said...

Thank god Nobody injured. Truck accidents also more likely to involve a car or smaller vehicle the truck accident was caused by the driver of the truck trying to avoid collision with another vehicle following their dangerous or careless manoeuvre. accidents resulting in deaths and serious injuries. But in case can't see any another vehicle. How it was happen.
- Truck Crashes

kwman said...

In relation to the comment about why logs can't go by rail to wellington is because of the lack of space for the log wagons to be unloaded at the port, was being trailed from masterton but because they could only have ten wagons and use the line at night due to the passenger trains using it during the day it was unviable

Anonymous said...

In relation to "why cant logs go by rail from manawatu to wellington", was tried in the past from marton and also masterton but didnt last long at either places sending logs to wellington.

logs have started going by rail to napier now from wanganui but only 50 truck loads a week at this stage

matt said...

logging truck danger crashes wellington whats that all about

matt said...

just read this story you reproduced it wasn't a 3 metre log it was a 3 metre dressed piece of timber on the back of a ute nothing to do with a logging truck at all ive got the right story on stuff.co.nz it seems you have misread it or made you own up out of the tragic events of that day.

transpressnz said...

Dear Matt,

here is the complete url for the 3 March 2010 story :- http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3396766/Niece-tells-of-fight-to-save-best-mate

You'll see that our copy is verbatim, nothing made up by us

We know of similar fatal accidents involving insecure logs on logging trucks.

here is another more rcent one for you :

http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/4221136/Black-spot-claims-log-truck


don't worry, the media will blame the roads, not your drivers.

Matt said...

i read a story all so on stuff.co.nz that says it was a ute with a piece of timber must of been written afterwards because it said police were looking for the ute its the same incident just different storys.

The media blame the drivers most of the time and it seems any truck carting wood of any form gets called a log truck, like the guy who went up the akatarawa with his truck and semi and when he tried to turn back and got stuck it made the news as a log truck but was a flat deck with posts on

there is always going to be accidents no matter what we do or say