Truck driver swerved to avoid oncoming car before SH1 crash

CARTERTON, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 07: Police stand guard at the cordon near the accident site on January 7, 2012 in Carterton, New Zealand. Emergency services attended a hot air balloon crash that has killed 11 people in the early hours of Saturday near the Wairarapa plains town of Carterton. The balloon burst into flames and crashed killing all aboard. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images) Photo credit: Getty

A truck driver was forced to swerve to avoid an oncoming car before a serious crash south of Levin on Sunday, his haulage company says.

Emergency services were called to the crash on State Highway 1, Manakau, near Kuku Beach Rd around 1:55pm on Sunday. Police say a number of people are believed to be injured.

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The general manager of the truck driver's company, Hilton Haulage, posted to Facebook in the aftermath of the accident, saying there had been a fatality. "Initial information from the scene is that our driver David McNeill (based at ODL) has swerved to avoid a car that has crossed the centreline and in doing so has gone over the bank and crashed into a cemetery," they wrote.

"David has not been seriously injured however there has been a fatality in another vehicle (following a suspected medical event)." The crash has blocked SH1 until 7pm, when it will reopen for three hours. The road will then be closed again from 10pm to recover the vehicles.

"Emergency services are still working at the scene of a serious crash on SH1, Manakau," a police spokesperson told Newshub. "Motorists are advised to postpone travel if possible as there will be significant delays. "NZTA advise the road is expected to reopen before 7pm and will close again at 10pm for vehicle recovery."

The serious crash unit has been notified.

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