Rescuer's quiet life shattered

MARYANNE TWENTYMAN
Last updated 05:00 14/09/2012

Taupiri truck crash

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Grant Kiri moved from the "rat-race" of Auckland to Taupiri last week in the hope of a quieter, safer life for his family.

But he must have wondered why when he sat down to breakfast yesterday morning just in time to see a freight truck heading straight toward his front fence.

"It's not what you would expect after one week living here, but that's OK. I'd rather that than living in Auckland where gang members are walking around with guns and frightening my kids," he said.

Mr Kiri said he did not think twice about running to the aid of the trapped truck driver after the vehicle tipped over about 7.45am yesterday on the main Taupiri roundabout south of Huntly.

"It was really noisy and it just tipped up.

"There was smoke everywhere and I knew I had to get the truck driver out - that's what I would want someone to do for me," he said.

Mr Kiri ran to the truck and could see the driver "stunned and dazed looking" on the passenger side of the cab.

"He had a big gash on his head and he looked pretty out of it - groggy, so I smashed the window and pulled him out."

Huntly Police constable David Simpson said it appeared the driver was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash and "and that probably contributed to his injuries".

The driver was taken to Waikato Hospital with moderate head injuries. His National Express freight truck had been travelling from Auckland to Hamilton carrying pet food and plastic when the crash happened.

The truck, which also brought down a power pole, was sprawled across the road and traffic was restricted to one lane while the scene was cleared.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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