Motorcyclist dies in head-on crash with truck

A motorcyclist has died after he crashed head-on with a gas truck near Rai Valley, in Marlborough.

Marlborough highway patrol manager Sergeant Barrie Greenall said the man, thought to be in his 70s, was an overseas tourist on a biking holiday of New Zealand.

The crash was on State Highway 6 this afternoon.

The impact caused his Ducati motorbike to catch fire, engulfing the cab of the truck in flames.  

The truck was carrying tanks of liquid propane gas, but the truck driver managed to get out of the cab and put out the fire with his onboard fire extinguisher before it got near the tanks, Greenall said.

The truck was heading towards Nelson when they crashed.

The motorcyclist was on holiday with three other bikers and was headed towards Picton when he crossed the centre lines on a bend about 10k from Rai Valley township, Greenall said.

The road between Hira and Rai Valley was closed while emergency services were at the crash scene.

The Marlborough Express