Truck driver in triple-fatal crash found dead

The driver of a milk tanker involved in a fatal crash in New Zealand last Thursday has been found dead in his home.

Police say the man's family have asked for privacy in relation to this "tragic incident".

His death will be referred to the Coroner and is not being treated as suspicious.

Chantelle Giles, John Bayne and his sister Cherylene Bayne died and two others were injured in the fiery collision.

A car is believed to have been backing out of an Egmont St driveway when it collided with the milk tanker, which was heading north on Patea's main road.

The force of the crash brought down power lines, cutting power to the street for several hours, and the road was closed until the early hours of Friday morning.

An Egmont St resident was walking home and sat down with the tanker driver shortly after the crash. She said he was from Stratford.

The woman didn't see the accident but heard an explosion about 4.15pm. The tanker was on fire but the car was on the other side of the road and not visible, she said at the time.

"He was in huge shock. And he didn't have a phone and he just wanted to contact Fonterra, his boss".

It was later revealed that a man had just exited the car after being dropped off when it was hit by the tanker. The car caught fire and the man's partner and two others died inside.

 

He tried in vain to save his partner but couldn't get to her through the flames, a neighbour who wished to remain anonymous told Fairfax.

Patea fire chief Grant Hurley said at the time that it was an "absolutely horrifying" sight.
"I have never seen anything like it.

"There was huge black smoke, massive flames and a terrible smell".

He said the noise of "machinery cracking and exploding was terrible".

The neighbour said she and another woman comforted the young man, who seemed to be in a state of shock, at the scene of the accident.

He and his partner had just moved back to Patea, she said.



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