Highway hero rewarded

BEN STRANG
Last updated 10:41 16/11/2012
Truckie

Highway hero: Truck driver Louis Maaka is given a Beaurepaires Highway Heroes Award by Beaurepaires Paraparaumu acting manager Paul Davidson.

Relevant offers

Kapiti Observer

Kapiti Coast District Council overturns rejected Kapiti Arts Trail applications Cycleway users are creating a menace at Queen Elizabeth Park, rangers say Kapiti Mayor Ross Church backs move to eject three people from council meeting Bob Brockie memoir covers 63 years stirring the pot as a political cartoonist Wellington birthing photographer Tamara Milldove scoops national awards Horowhenua-Kapiti-raised hookers to share world cup dream Multi-million dollar Paraparaumu school and church at design stage Fleur Beale returns to cult world of Esther and Rebecca Kapiti students support HeforShe movement Paekakariki Hill Road reopens after closure to remove crashed car

A truck driver has been recognised as a highway hero after his ''amazing driving'' prevented a potentially serious crash last month.

Louis Maaka, of Lower Hutt, received the Beaurepaires Highway Heroes Award on Thursday for his skilful driving on October 29 near Otaihanga.

Mr Maaka said he was driving north on State Highway 1 at about 80 kilometres per hour, when a white ute stopped dead in front of him to let merging traffic through.

He slammed on his brakes and swerved his 15,000 kilogram, 14-wheeler truck between the stopped ute and other merging traffic, down a small grass driveway next to the road.

Police at the scene nominated him as an unofficial ''driver of the year'', and said he avoided a potentially serious accident.

''It's always a bit of a dodgy intersection, but I've never had someone stop in front of me before,'' Mr Maaka said. ''I just slammed the brakes, and then instinct took over.

''If I had ploughed into the ute, it would have been game over. They would have ended up under my wheels, and the truck could have rolled.''

Mr Maaka took up truck driving about five years ago, after showing a natural ability.

''I used to pack trucks, load them up. When they came into my yard, the guys couldn't back them out again, so I'd jump into the cab and back it out,
no problems,'' he said.

''They'd all say, 'cheers Louis, you should be a truck driver', so eventually I did.''

After the near miss he is more cautious on the Otaihanga bend of SH1.

Highway Heroes awards are nominated by a member of the public and open to any professional truck, bus or coach driver, who performs brave, heroic or humanitarian acts in the course of their work.

A Supreme Award will be decided by a panel of judges.

Ad Feedback

- Kapiti Observer

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should Kapiti have international airport?

Yes, there's plenty of land there

No, it's too far for people to travel to

Maybe

Don't care

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content