Traffic diverted on State Highway after fatal truck crash near Springs Junction
Part of the default State Highway 1 will be closed for at least 12 hours following a fatal truck crash near Springs Junction.
One person has died and a man in his 20s has been flown to Grey Base Hospital, in Greymouth, with moderate injuries after the crash on SH65.
Two trucks were involved in the collision 9.5 kilometres north of Springs Junction, and emergency services were notified just before 10am on Wednesday.
SH65 is the current main route for traffic travelling between Christchurch and Picton due to the closure of SH1 following the Kaikoura earthquake.
Traffic is heavier on SH65 as a result of the diversion. Residents in the region have raised concerns about the effect that the unprecedented level of traffic would have on the road surface, and whether it could lead to more crashes and safety issues.
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Isolated sections of the route, parts of which are located a considerable distance from the nearest emergency service stations, have also been cause for concern.
As a result of the crash, northbound traffic is advised to use SH7 to Reefton. Southbound traffic should take SH6 from Murchison, then SH69 to Reefton and SH7 to Springs Junction.
SH65 was expected to remain closed until at least 10pm to allow for a crane to remove the crashed trucks from the site.
NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager Lee Wright said people needed to slow down as there were parts of the road that were winding and needed caution.
The police serious crash team is investigating the fatal crash.
Drivers should allow extra time while SH65 remains closed. The alternative route via Inangahua Junction and Reefton adds an extra 47km and about 45 minutes to journey times.