The driver killed in a crash with a truck and trailer unit in State Highway 1 on Sunday was 64-year-old Allan Clifford Brady of Ashburton.
Mr Brady was driving north, returning from a fishing trip accompanied by two friends, when his Nissan 4WD veered across the centre line and struck a southbound truck and trailer unit just after 3pm, police said yesterday.
The crash occurred near the intersection with Woolshed Valley Rd and caused the trailer unit to burst into flames, apparently after road friction set the tyres alight.
The fire damage was described as minor but one entire side of the trailer was gone.
The two passengers, a 71-year-old man and 76-year-old man, both of Ashburton, were taken to Timaru Hospital by ambulance. One was admitted but discharged yesterday.
Police had not released details yesterday of the truck driver, who was also taken to Timaru Hospital but had not been admitted for treatment.
They were also still working to establish the cause of the crash, Waimate police Sergeant Mike van der Heyden said.
A witness who arrived at the scene soon after the crash said Mr Brady was trapped inside and a woman, a bystander, had gone into the back of the vehicle and was leaning over the driver's seat trying to help him.
"Another woman was trying to get the passenger's-side door open, so I gave her a hand trying to wrench that open," said the witness, who asked not to be named.
Emergency services had not yet arrived on the scene at that point.
The witness then went down the road to check on the truck and trailer.
"When I came back [Mr Brady] had either just died or was dying," the witness said. "There was a guy leaning in through the driver's window, saying 'Talk to me, talk to me, say something'."
Power was knocked out to 301 customers in the area when the truck collided with the pole.
SH1 was closed for several hours while a serious crash investigation team from Christchurch examined the scene.
- The Timaru Herald