‘Lucky to be alive’: Driver in shock after load falls off van, crushes windscreen

A Wellington man is “lucky to be alive” after an unsecured load fell off a moving van on the motorway and crushed his windscreen.

The man was driving his work truck along the motorway between Upper and Lower Hutt yesterday when a load of poles fell from a moving van travelling on the opposite direction and hit his vehicle, crushing the windscreen and throwing shards of glass everywhere.

“I spoke to his boss, who says he’s lucky to be alive,” the man’s father told the Herald, hours after the incident.

The driver, a 20-year-old scaffolder, was home and in shock after the incident, which left him mostly uninjured, save for a few cuts from the shattered glass of his broken windscreen.

“He texted me asking where I was. I knew something was wrong,” his father, Jeremy Rima, told the Herald.

It was just after midday when he received the text from his son, whose work van was written off after the incident.

“The truck got written off,” he said. “That just shows the impact of how much that load really damaged the vehicle.”

“As a father I was so upset,” Rima said, adding he had previously witnessed a similar incident.

“A few years ago at Paekakariki, same situation, but that person wasn’t so fortunate and died at the scene, that’s why I was very upset,” the man said.

“He’s only 20 so I believe it was not his time to go,” he said of his son.

According to Rima, the van carrying the unsecure load belongs to a roofing business but did not have signwriting on it.

“There was one witness travelling behind the truck that was involved – she took a photo of the number plate and rung the police,” he said, adding that the truck had secured the load and left the scene by the time police arrived.

Rima took to local Facebook group “Vic deals” to vent his frustration over the incident, reminding people of the important of”securing their loads”.

His post received more than 200 comments from other Facebook users, including a couple of people who said they witnessed the incident.

“My dad was driving a full school bus and was following behind the vehicle when the load came flying to his windscreen and he had to swerve out the way,” one person commented.

“The windscreen was absolutely munted, surprised he could see where he was going to slow down,” another person who was driving past the area at the time wrote in the thread.

Police confirmed they received a report of an incident involving two vehicles on River Rd (SH1) between Moonshine Hill Rd and Western Hutt Rdaround 11.55am yesterday.

There was a report of debris on the road and one vehicle being damaged.

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