Time to buy a lottery ticket


An experienced truck driver who survived a 15 metre plunge onto the Auckland motorway this morning is “scratching his head” wondering how he’s alive.

The Regal Haulage driver ran off the motorway heading into the city at Auckland’s Spaghetti Junction just before 6am, crashing through a barrier and plunging onto the Port Link section of motorway below.

He was en route to Whangarei from Hamilton when the accident happened.

Police estimated the fall was between 15 and 20 metres and said the truck was carrying more than 26 tonnes of fertiliser.

Regal Haulage driver manager Alan Pye said the driver had been with the company for a long time and estimated he’d been driving trucks for about 20 years.

The man had escaped serious injury thanks to airbags and his seat belt but Pye said he was being kept in Auckland hospital for observation because of back pain and would be meeting with a specialist.

“The main thing for us is that he’s okay,” Pye said.

“What happened, we don’t know. We need to go over that once everything is cleaned up.”

He said the drive to Whangarei was a regular run for him.

“He had stopped at the Bombays for a refreshment and had a couple of other stops on the way. He hasn’t been speeding, he’s been doing everything correctly.

“He’s good (but) he’s certainly shocked. He’s at a point where he’s happy that he’s here, as you can see it’s a fairly serious crash. He’s scratching his head.”

The driver had some memory loss and couldn’t explain why he’d come off the motorway, Pye said.

Will be interesting to see the eventual explanation.

For now, he seems to be a lucky man.   Unlike the insurance company.   Who will also be interested in an explanation, no doubt.

I suggest there are some puckered up people at Regal Haulage.


– Stuff


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  • Tom

    Regal going for product placement in the media. lol
    Is this native advertising ?

    • taurangaruru

      Are you suggesting Regal are moving into aerial topdressing?

  • Nige.

    When I heard about this in the headlines I was quite perplexed that there was no mention of the drivers condition. I assumed he had not survived. 15meters is an incredible fall.

  • Davo42

    Check out this guy pinned between 2 Semi-trailers in Oregon today, that’s him looking out the door of the Ford pick-up truck he was driving – he walked away from this with 2 band aids. Definite lottery ticket candidate.

  • willtin

    That’s a s**t load of fertiliser! And one very lucky driver.
    And very fortunate that it didn’t land on anyone else. How would an obituary read? Death by Fertilisation?

    • Saggy

      Well life is sexually transmitted and always terminal.

    • dgrogan

      I think supernitrate and diesel mixed together was used in Aussie for blowing the iron ore seam in the Pilbara. He was a lucky driver indeed. All the elements were there for spectacular fireworks.

  • HSV325

    Sounds like the driver could have had an unforeseen medical event and lucky to be alive after that drop. If he fell asleep then that will be a different story and someone will be getting a bill for 100k plus.

  • Mac50

    Spectacular yes, but consider the actual physics of the situation. A fall of 10m (as stated on TV1 news) means you hit the ground at approx 50 km/h, which is quite survivable, with appropriate protection, such as crumple zones, air bags etc.

    Hitting a solid object at say 100 km/h, is the same as a fall of 40m – or 13 stories! Driving is inherently dangerous, but we are so used to it, we forget about the danger. If you are on top of a tall building, it seems far more dangerous. Perhaps we are wired to avoid height, but zipping along at speed is a relatively new phenomena our brains don’t react to in the same way?

    • I.M Bach

      ” means you hit the ground at approx 50 km/h, which is quite survivable” and it most lilkely is but heaven help you if you’re storming along at 51kph. The powers that be would have you believe that all hell will break loose and it will result in certain death, total destruction of everything around you and eternal damnation to follow. Or am I being a tad cynical? ;)

  • johcar

    I wonder if he had a dashcam?