Trucks roll, fires, damaged bridge: Hawke’s Bay accidents expand emergency services, close highways


The truck crash on SH5 knocked down power lines and closed the road on Saturday morning. Photo / Paul Taylor

Two trucks are driving the two main highways north of Napier in less than 24 hours, seriously injuring a driver, closing both roads and starting a grass fire that has prompted firefighters to scramble.

A rescue helicopter and emergency services were called to State Highway 2 near Tutira, north of Napier, after a truck overturned around 1:45 p.m. Friday.

The notorious stretch of road near the crash is nicknamed the Devil’s Elbow.

The driver of the truck, a man in his 30s, was trapped and had to be released before being taken to hospital with serious injuries.

He was at noon Sunday in stable condition at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

The crash caused a seven-hour delay as the road between Napier and Wairoa was closed, eventually reopening at 8:45 p.m. after logs were cleared from the road.

Another truck then rolled over and knocked down power lines, causing a grass fire around 7:50 a.m. Saturday on SH5 near Eskdale, just outside Napier.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident involving a B-train truck.

“A trailer rolled over and took an electric pole, causing the lines to fall and the fire,” said a spokesperson for Fire and Emergency NZ.

SH5 was closed following the accident and reopened on a track at 10:30 am. Three fire engines witnessed the incident.

Police divert traffic from the Chesterhope Bridge onto Pakowhai Rd. Photo / Paul Taylor
Police divert traffic from the Chesterhope Bridge onto Pakowhai Rd. Photo / Paul Taylor

Firefighters and emergency services were busy over the weekend as several fires and accidents were reported.

Firefighters were called in to a house fire in Akina around 6:15 p.m. Friday, where they put out a “relatively small” fire in a kitchen.

Two fire trucks responded and extinguished the blaze in about 20 minutes. No injuries were reported.

While firefighters were still on the property, a call came about a grass fire on Middle Rd in Poukawa, south of Hastings.

The grass fire was approximately 80m by 20m and required six fire trucks, including two tankers, to fight the blaze.

The fire took about 20 minutes to subside after the firefighters arrived at around 7 p.m.

Then, on Saturday night, a car crashed into the Chesterhope Bridge on Pakowhai Rd, closing the road for a while.

“The bridge was damaged, some signs were removed. No one was in the vehicle on arrival,” a police spokeswoman said.

“The road was closed while the car was removed and detours were put in place. Council has been advised of the damage to the bridge.”

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