A look at the stark death toll on New Zealand roads over the years. Video / NZ Herald
A recycling truck has dropped a load of empty bottles on a busy highway and a man has been taken to hospital after a three-vehicle pile-up at Waipapa.
The crash occurred on State Highway 10 roughly outside the Gull service station in Waipapa about 12.15pm today.
The vehicles involved were a rubbish truck carrying a skip bin full of bottles — some of which ended up in a heap in the left-hand lane — plus a Holden Captiva and a flat-deck ute.
The truck sustained frontal damage, the Holden was hit front and rear, causing major damage, and the ute had minor damage to the rear lights and tray.
Senior Sergeant Peter Robinson, of Mid North police, said it appeared the rubbish truck had collided with the back of the Holden which had then been shunted forward into the ute.
The Holden driver suffered moderate injuries and was taken to hospital by St John ambulance. His passenger was thought to be suffering shock. The ute driver had whiplash and the truck driver was uninjured.
An investigation into the cause of the crash was continuing.
Robinson said drivers had to be even more attentive than usual as there were so many vehicles on the road.
“Always be looking ahead, maintain a safe distance and look for vehicles slowing or stopping ahead of you,” he said.
Two volunteer crews from Kerikeri Fire Brigade also attended.
The pile-up blocked the northbound lane of SH10 until vehicles and broken glass could be removed.
Traffic was diverted via Klinac Lane and the new connecting road emerging at Waipapa roundabout.
The highway was fully reopened by 1.30pm.