Logging truck driver killed near Kopu

HARRY PEARL
Last updated 11:11 05/02/2014

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A truck driver was crushed under a fully laden logging truck after he tried to stop it rolling.

Gavin Wayne Stewart, 47, of Morrinsville, was killed at Matatoki Quarry, near Kopu, just after 1pm on Monday.

The quarry's managing director, Eric Souchon, said Mr Stewart was crushed between the wheel of his truck and the quarry's weigh-bridge, after he slipped while climbing into the cab.

Mr Souchon said Mr Stewart - who was not an employee or contractor of the company - had asked to use the weighbridge at the quarry when he could not weigh in at Kopu. The quarry is owned by HG Leach & Co. "He contacted our manager and requested permission to weigh in," Mr Souchon said.

The company agreed and while Mr Stewart was being shown the the weigh-in process by an employee, his truck - which was parked about five metres from the bridge - started to roll.

"He [Mr Stewart] has turned around, gone back to his truck and tried to climb into the moving vehicle," Mr Souchon said.

"At that point it's not entirely clear, but the assumption is that he has slipped and was caught between the wheel of the truck and the weighbridge."

Mr Souchon said the company employee jumped into the truck and stopped it. However, it was too late. It was believed the wheel ran over Mr Stewart's leg causing the fatal injuries.

"Nobody goes to work expecting not to go home at night. It's a terrible tragedy," he said.

harry.pearl@waikatotimes.co.nz

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