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Mystery truck causes accident

Roy Vaughan car accident-971A Mangawhai resident claims to have ‘faced the jaws of death’ after being forced off the road by an oncoming truck on Mangawhai Road on November 7.

Driver of the car, Roy Vaughan, says a large truck heading in the opposite direction at speed occupied half of his lane as he rounded a blind corner just south of Cames Road.

“There was not going to be room enough for the two of us on the road,” said Mr Vaughan. “For a split second I thought this would be my end facing the truck’s huge front grill barely a couple of car lengths away.”

Mr Vaughan says he jammed the brakes on at the same time as the car plunged over a large drainage ditch and slammed into the roadside, spinning and coming to rest facing the opposite way.

The truck did not stop, leaving the lucky driver sitting in shock.

“I realised I had a full tank of petrol on board and hot steaming things and oil were dripping from the engine. Several other vehicles went by without even slowing down or offering assistance.”

Fortunately two good friends passing by recognised the car and came to his aid.

With the car likely a write-off, Mr Vaughan is in little doubt about the consequences if there had been a head-on collision.

“I realised I was very lucky to be alive. If I had hit the truck front on I doubt I would have survived a head on collision.”

Skid marks detailed the story of a near miss.

“They were well on my side of the road. I tried to slow down before hitting the bank.”

Mr Vaughan reported the incident to police.

Following the incident Mr Vaughan is philosophical.

“At the very least this route needs a re-examination of speed limits and more danger signs. I do not entirely blame the driver of the truck as the only way you can get rigs of those dimensions around the tight bends is to use up a fair bit of territory on the other side of the road.”

n Did you witness anything? If you have any information about the incident, or were travelling between Cames Road and the Te Arai turn-off Monday November 7 between 8.30am and 9am and may have sighted a heavy vehicle in that area, please contact Roy Vaughan 431 5828 or 021 109 8601.

NEAR MISS: The badly damaged car after leaving the road and hitting a bank.

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