Crushing welcome to Oamaru

20:05, May 07 2014
stuck truck
MISCALCULATION: A damaged Audi sits on top of a trailer too high to pass under the Humber St rail bridge in Oamaru.

A delivery of cars destined for Christchurch did not arrive on time after the truck transporting them smashed into a bridge in Oamaru yesterday afternoon.

The NZVD Transport Ltd truck was travelling along Humber St when the driver misjudged the height of a 3.5-metre rail bridge.

While the truck itself squeezed under the bridge, the large trailer carrying five cars struck the bridge.

All three cars on the top deck of the trailer suffered substantial damage, with two toppling off the trailer, while one teetered on the edge.

Two cars on the bottom deck were relatively unscathed.

The car dealt the most damage was a late-model Audi A4, valued at more than $60,000 new.


Oamaru police Constable Dean Paterson said the crash was the result of a "miscalculation" by the truck driver, who was not from Oamaru.

"He was heading down Humber St to get on to Thames St to head through and ultimately go to Christchurch ... he was probably a bit more embarrassed than anything." He said the truck driver was shaken but uninjured.

A cafe employee working near the scene, who did not wish to be named, said as soon as she saw the truck drive past the cafe she knew it would not make it under the bridge

"We stood up and watched and it was literally like a domino effect when he hit the bridge. We just called emergency services and went out to help stop traffic coming through."

She said similar incidents had happened in the past.

The road was quickly cleared by emergency services and reopened about an hour later.

A train was prevented from crossing the bridge but rail services resumed about the same time the road was cleared. The bridge sustained no major damage. Paterson said police were investigating the incident.

South Canterbury