A `knight in shining armour’ enabled police to quickly re-open a section of State Highway 2 near its intersection with Wolseley Road north of Katikati today after a logging truck overturned, spilling its load across the road.
The truck and trailer unit was travelling south along SH2 when it overturned on a bend spilling about 35 to 40 logs across the highway at about 10.30am.
A truck and trailer unit overturned on SH2 north of Katikati spilling logs on the road.
Constable Peter Krom says local contractor Tony Crapp from Western Bay Chipping volunteered the services of his machine to clear logs from the road.
“He was a bit of a knight in shining armour really. He cleared the logs and then went on his way,” says Peter.
Police, St John Ambulance and Katikati Volunteer Fire Brigade were called to the scene and the driver of the Freightliner was taken to Tauranga Hospital with minor injuries to his legs.
Traffic came to a standstill while logs measuring about five metres long were cleared to the side of the road.
Tauranga Police Sergeant Lester Polglase says the truck was travelling south coming around a moderate right hand bend when it overturned.
"The trailer came off the road, clipped the bank, which pulled the whole truck over sideways, losing its logs both sides of the road.
"We got here three minutes later.
"Luckily Tony Crapp the local shelterbelt trimmer came along with a big front end loader and cleared the road for us out of the goodness of his heart."
Tony says he has just finished a job at Tuapiro Point when he realised there had been an accident and decided to see if he could help.
“I was on my way to another job at Athenree and when I saw a logging truck was involved and there were logs all over the road I asked Peter if I could be of assistance.”
Tony used the rotating grapples fitted to his McCormick tractor to pick up the logs, weighing about 400kg, and remove them from the road.
“It was good to be able to help. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” says Tony who has operated Western Bay Chipping Ltd in the Katikati region 12 years.
Among the motorists caught up in the queue of traffic was a woman distraught that she might not be able to make a crucial medical appointment in Auckland.
However, thanks to the quick removal of the logs, her delay was minimal and she appeared likely to keep her appointment.
A crane has been called in to remove the truck.