The driver who was killed after smashing into a cement truck on Putaruru's main street has been named.
Arthur George Stevenson, 52, was the sole occupant of a Toyota van that collided with a laden truck and trailer unit on State Highway One at about 2.35pm on Friday.
Mr Stevenson was unrestrained and police said a seatbelt may have saved his life.
The Putaruru man died on his way to Waikato Hospital.
Witness accounts and evidence from the scene examination indicated that the Toyota crossed to the incorrect side of the road and collided with the truck.
Police are still investigating the circumstances leading up to the crash.
"This is a timely reminder to all road users to ensure you wear a seatbelt on all trips,'' Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said.
''Also to be aware of other road users as you never know what may happen in front of you."
After collision, the truck ploughed through a fence and swiped seven parked cars, leaving a scene one witness described as "carnage".
Todd Wills, 37, could only watch in disbelief as the cement truck swerved off the road after colliding with the van.
"The truck has veered into the Big Chill yard and smashed into a whole lot of parked cars and ended up stopping in front of a truck.
"I couldn't really believe what I was seeing. It happened in slow motion. I just thought 'Are my eyes actually seeing what I'm seeing?'
"At first I just thought the truck had had a blowout. I didn't think a van was involved."
Mr Troy said the driver of the truck was "shaken" but uninjured.
Meanwhile, a child was in a serious condition after the vehicle they were in crashed on the outskirts of Hamilton on Friday.
The vehicle was travelling east along Holland Rd when it collided with a four-wheel-drive at the intersection of Telephone Rd, police said.
And two children, aged 18 months and 6, injured in a fatal crash at Waingaro on Wednesday night have been discharged from Waikato Hospital.
The crash claimed the life of the children's mother, Patricia Rachel Walker, 40.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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