Sister blames KiwiRail for fatal smash

Last updated 14:17 06/03/2014
Cory James Clements
FACEBOOK/Supplied
TRUCK DRIVER: Cory James Clements
Waikato truck crash
MIKE SCOTT/Fairfax NZ Zoom
The scene of a collision between a train and a truck in the Waikato. The crash killed the truck's driver.

Fatal train crash

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The sister of a man killed when his truck collided with a passenger train at Rangiriri says the level crossing where he died was dangerous and not well maintained.

Cory James Clements, 28, died when the articulated low loader he was driving collided with the Northern Explorer train, which was carrying 108 people, on Te Onetea Rd on February 27.

Family and friends gathered in Hamilton for Mr Clements' funeral yesterday.

His sister, Sharleen Oxenham, said KiwiRail could have made the crossing safer.

"He didn't stand a chance. He tried to get out and make a run for it and the train has just hit the cab and taken him out," she told 3 News.

Mr Clements' family believed the truck sank at the crossing and became stuck, 3 News reported.

Police are investigating the incident, and last week Waikato district road policing manager Inspector Freda Grace said it would take several weeks.

Ron Miller, who lives on Te Onetea Rd, said the crossing surface was soft and it was possible the truck got stuck.

Hours after the incident, KiwiRail chief executive Jim Quinn said stop signs and visibility at the crossing were adequate for the road.

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- Waikato

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