Trailer destroyed, man saved

A few seconds is all that separated a driver from the full force of a moving train near Te Puke at about 8am on Monday.

Pictures of the scene on Monday morning. Photos by Shane Beech.

Maketu Fire Chief Shane Beech says a train collided with a trailer being towed by a ute at a rail crossing at the intersection of Pah Road and State Highway 2, just south of Te Puke.

The ute was driving across the crossing, which has no barrier arms, when the collision occurred.

Shane says the train collided head-on with the trailer, narrowly avoiding an impact with the ute by only “a few seconds”.

The male driver of the ute, who was the sole occupant in the vehicle, sustained no injury.

“He got very lucky. We’re only talking about a few seconds,” says Shane.

The only damage the ute sustained was plastic ripped from its rear bumper and a bent tow bar.

“It was a single axle trailer. He was towing a few building products.” 

Shane suspects the man did not see the train coming.

The train came to a complete stop, remaining stationary at the scene for over an hour before it was able to recommence its journey.

Debris was easily removed from the crossing.

“It pretty much cleared itself,” says Shane.

“We pulled what was left of the debris off the tracks.”


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