Dash cam captures close call on Thermal Explorer Highway
Dash cam footage has captured the moment a Waikato driver pulled out in front of a milk tanker in a "very close call".
Eric Lin was travelling along the Thermal Explorer Highway at about 1pm on Saturday when he watched a car pull out in front of a Fonterra tanker at Fitzgerald Glade between Hamilton and Rotorua.
"I watched the whole thing uncover in slow motion - it was a very close call."
The car tried to pull out of a cafe entrance and turn right, Lin said.
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The impact was huge, Lin said.
"It was a scary sound, listening to it crunch – it was definitely more of a crunch than a bang.
"It sent bits of the car all down the road and into my car."
Lin was driving from Auckland to Rotorua when he captured the close call, and his reaction to it, on his dash cam.
He said a plume of smoke shot in the air on impact and then he realised the tanker had swerved onto his side of the road.
"I slowly drove onto the grass, careful not to swerve suddenly and cause an accident myself.
"I quickly got out to check the people in the car were okay and an ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later."
The people in the car and the tanker driver were in shock, he said.
"We all were, there was one lady standing about 20 metres down the road and she just couldn't move."
The tanker came to a stop about 100 metres down the road, Lin said.
The collision did a bit of damage to the tanker's tyres and bumper, but it could have been a lot worse, he said.
"If the tanker driver hadn't have swerved I'd say there would have been some fatalities."
During the remainder of Lin's journey he paid a lot more attention to the road.
"The crash itself will repeat in my head for a while."
Lin has been trying to get a hold of Fonterra to pass on the video.
It's pretty clear it wasn't the tanker driver's fault, he said
Fonterra Transport and Logistics general manager Barry McColl said Fonterra was relieved nobody was hurt in the crash and the tanker operator took quick action.
"With spring coming up many industries, including dairy, will be coming into their peak production seasons which means there will be more heavy vehicles on the road," McColl said.
"It's a good time to remember the importance of driver safety – being mindful on the road and taking a moment before passing or pulling out to make a safe decision, particularly around trucks as they do take longer to stop or slow down."