Storm stirs up trouble for truck driver

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A truck driver had a lucky escape yesterday afternoon when the truck and trailer unit he was travelling in was uplifted by the severe winds battering the coast.

Traffic was slowed to a crawl, but the road remained open just south of Totara Estate after the accident at about 2pm.

Oamaru Acting Sergeant Ewen Graham said the wind picked up the trailer first and then truck, and threw the north-bound unit off the road. The truck landed on the west side of the road, upright while the trailer was tipped on its side.

“A truck and trailer from the same company had just pulled over [by Totara Estate] after he had a scare and nearly lifted up and actually saw the truck come over the brow of the hill [before being uplifted],” Acting Sergeant Graham said.

Luckily, the driver escaped uninjured, he said.

“He was just shaken and got a hell of a fright,” he said.

Mr Graham said it was very fortunate no other vehicles were on the same stretch of road when the truck and trailer was uplifted.

Fire and St John were also in attendance.

Police were yesterday warning motorists travelling between Oamaru and Dunedin on SH1 – particularly high-sided vehicles, campervans and motorcyclists – to take extreme care or delay their travels due to the severe winds battering that part of the coast.

They also suggested drivers modified their speeds and following distances accordingly.

– Check out page 3 to read about damage caused by yesterday’s winds, and page 8 for more photos.

By Rebecca Ryan