'A tragic loss of a 28-year-old man's life'
Driver dead after truck, train collideHARRY PEARL AND NICOLA BRENNAN
The engine of a truck involved in a fatal crash at a Waikato level crossing today was found 35 metres away, police say.
The large articulated truck was almost completely demolished in the collision with the Northern Explorer train carrying more than 100 passengers, the cab was mangled, and the engine travelled 35m before stopping in a paddock adjacent to the tracks.
The collision occurred about 9.45am on Te Onetea Rd crossing at Rangiriri but Waikato road policing manager Freda Grace would not speculate on the cause of the crash and said a number of investigations were underway.
"There had been a tragic loss of a 28-year-old man's life today," she said, adding that police were working to formally identify the victim.
The train driver and passengers were unhurt.
KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said the driver of the locomotive had been taken to Auckland where he would be offered victim support.
"It's a very sad part of a railwayman's life that they are caught up in these type of things," he said
He believed signage and visibility at the crossing was adequate.
"It's a dirt road that is not used a lot, so that's probably the right level of security for that road," he said.
Quinn extended his sympathies to the truck driver's family.
The train has resumed it's service and was to arrive in Wellington this evening, he said.