Truck driver's body finally found

ABBIE NAPIER
Last updated 14:32 19/07/2014
Kaikoura crash
CRASH SCENE: The truck plunged down a 45m bank.

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The body of Auckland truck driver Stuart James Barnes has been found after three days of searching. 

Sergeant Graeme Crosson said Barnes' body had been buried by the collapsed side of the ravine the truck was found in. 

The crash had caused parts of the ravine bank to slip. 

The body could not be located until the truck debris and cargo had been moved. A digger was brought in to shift the collapsed parts of the bank and clear the nearby stream bed where the search focused today. 

Barnes was 59-years-old when he died and was driving a Freight Lines truck down the Kaikoura Coast. 

Barnes's truck crashed on State Highway 1 near Hundalee. 

It plunged down a 45 metre deep ravine and heavy machinery was required to move the bulk of the wreck. 

Today's search effort was concentrated on a nearby stream with a digger called in to work through the stream area. 

The truck and its cargo have been taken to Christchurch for investigation. 

Police said without a crane the rescue would not have been possible.

"Police would like to acknowledge the patience and understanding shown by his family during what has been a protracted and difficult search."

Barnes was based in Papakura in South Auckland.

His neighbours described him as an extremely friendly person. 

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