Four hours to free critically-injured truck driver after Hawke's Bay crash

5:36 pm on 8 August 2020

It took nearly four hours to free a critically-injured truck driver after their vehicle careened 10 metres down a bank in Hawke's Bay this morning.

State Highway 5, Napier-Taupō Road.

State Highway 5 between Napier and Taupō. File image. Photo: Google Maps

Emergency services were first notified of the crash on State Highway 5 at Te Haroto at 9.34am today.

It wasn't until 1.29pm that the driver was finally freed from the wreckage.

Police estimated the vehicle crashed 10m down a bank, but there was a 30m drop into a ravine below.

Senior station officer Ryan McCarty from Napier said the truck was held above the ravine by two large trees that snapped in the crash.

"So he was sort of hanging - the truck was wedged against one bank and the back side was overhanging the ravine. The ravine was a quite a steep drop underneath, probably a good 30m ... as far as extrications go it was probably about as hard as they come."

A rescue helicopter attended but the person was taken to hospital by road ambulance. Their condition is critical.

The state highway was closed for some time but one lane has now reopened.

A scene examination is underway and the truck is expected to be salvaged later today.