A truck and trailer which plunged 10m down a bank into a river has prompted the closure of a busy highway between Auckland and Tauranga.

The driver of the truck escaped unharmed despite the dramatic crash on State Highway 2 into the Karangahake Gorge this morning.

Fire and Emergency northern shift communications manager Jaron Phillips said a freight truck laden with fruit left SH2 about 5am and plummeted into the Ohinemuri River between Paeroa and Waihi.

The truck driver managed to escape the wreckage.

He was helped up the steep bank by firefighters, said Phillips.

The NZ Transport Agency said motorists on SH2 should expect delays and an overnight road closure while the truck and trailer unit was removed.

Waikato transport systems manager Karen Boyt said from this morning stop/go traffic management would be in place so the contents of the truck and trailer could be removed.

“People can expect some delays today while the contents of the truck is removed and we make preparations for the big job of lifting it out of the gorge.

“The truck removal will take place later tonight when the traffic volumes are low so we minimise disruption to road users as much as possible,” Boyt said.

The road is expected to be closed between 10pm and 2am while the removal operation takes place.

“People should plan for their journey and use another route while this work is undertaken,” Boyt said.

By admin

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