36 Hurt in Bus vs Logging Truck Accident


Eastern Bay of Plenty Police tonight confirmed that 36 people are receiving medical treatment in Rotorua, Tauranga and Whakatane Hospitals following the collision between a school bus and a logging truck near Ruatoki this afternoon.

The injuries sustained range from minor, moderate to critical. An eight year old is listed as a Status One in Rotorua Hospital, and a six year old is listed as a Status Two in Rotorua Hospital. They were transferred to Rotorua Hospital by helicopter.

The truck driver was also transferred to Tauranga Hospital by helicopter. He was initially thought to be in a critical condition but is now stable. He will remain in hospital overnight for observation.

The Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Inspector Sandra Venables, says that at approximately 3:30pm this afternoon, it appears that an un-laden logging truck has run into the back of the school bus, however this is part of the ongoing investigation which Police Crash Investigators are undertaking.

Inspector Venables says the cause of the crash is not yet known, but will be fully investigated as part of the CVIU investigation.

“As a result of the crash, both vehicles were knocked into a nearby paddock. The collision has caused extensive damage to the rear of the bus, injuring many children. The collision has also caused the truck trailer to roll.

“The bus was carrying students from Trident and Whakatane High Schools, and primary school students from Taneatua. Due to the number of different schools involved, we are still confirming the numbers of students on the bus. All of the children were from the Ruatoki Valley area.

The Bay of Plenty Police Commercial Vehicle Investigation Unit have commenced their investigation at the scene and the area remains cordoned.

“We will not be speculating on the potential causes of the crash until the investigation is complete.

“Our focus now is working with the families and whänau of those who were injured and impacted by the crash, as well as on the crash investigation itself.”

Inspector Venables says Police would also like to thank the local community for their help and support following the crash.

“Many members of the local community were on the scene immediately and responded quickly to provide first aid and assistance. It is a very close-knit community and their efforts this afternoon were remarkable and much appreciated by all emergency services.



  1. Jon Reeves says:

    This is terrible and I feel for those poor students and their families in a situation like this.

    This accident happens less than a week after the last one in which a logging truck struck a railway bridge between Gisborne and Napier.

    The question is, what is the Government doing about all this countless logging truck accidents? Here´s the answer:

    - Allowing longer trucks, including logging trucks on our roads
    - Closing railway lines around the country which should be used to move logs safely
    - Not setting up an industry wide task force to look into the dangerous and cowboy practices of the trucking industry
    - Reduced the NZ police vehicle fleet which has obvious consquences on the mobility of those policing our highways.

    So in otherwords, Steven Joyce is pretty much ok with these types of accidents and will allow them to continue and even have a higher impact on other road users, and in this most recent case, innocent children.

    The trucking lobby has many cowboys rolling on our roads, and the Govt is fully supporting their dangerous practices.

  2. geoff_184 says:

    Jon R:

    1) There is nothing stopping KiwiRail from carrying logs on the Napier-Gisborne line. They can cease the policy carried over from Toll and Tranz Rail days at any time.

    2) Today’s accident happened where there is no rail alternative.

    3) Longer/lower logging trucks are safer than shorter/higher logging trucks, and were introduced as a measure to reduce all the log truck rollovers previously experienced. Extra logs are not carted, they are just carted more safely.

  3. Jon Reeves says:

    Geoff, you truly are the voice of the National party. Your claims about long lower trucks are totally out of the MoTs book. Again, not actually correct. You’ll be a blue boy.

  4. Jon Reeves says:


    Tell me, what do you think would have happened today if one of Steven Joyces fully laden 60 tonne MEGA TRUCKS hit that bus?

    You seem to be devoid of a heart for these poor kids, and many more will be hurt and killed if trucking accidents continue at the current rate we have across New Zealand now. And you support Steven Joyce and the National Party on this. Very disappointed in you.

    A Government which fully supports a coherent and safe transport policy is what we need. The National Party have been “bought off” by the trucking lobby.

  5. geoff_184 says:

    Jon R, of course it was a bad accident, but you are blaming the government for it, which is absolutely absurd.

    None of the points you raised were in any way relevant to this accident.

    Again, and yes I know you still won’t understand it, but I have never, and will never, vote National.

    As for your belief that lower centre of gravity trucks is somehow more dangerous than higher centre of gravity trucks, well that just defies belief. The change from high to low log trucks had nothing to do with the “bigger trucks” issue, and it most certainly did make them safer.

    “And you support Steven Joyce and the National Party on this”

    ????? On what? They have nothing to do with this accident.
    The only person linking the accident to them is you. You seem to blame everything and anything on SJ and the government. It’s called transference - reallocation of blame so that it matches your ideological standpoint. We see it from you all the time with rail issues. KR does good, you credit them. KR does bad, you credit SJ.

  6. Jon Reeves says:

    Um, Geoff,

    Can you imagine what would, could or will happen when larger 60 tonne trucks are involved in accidents like this?

    Who refused to listen to reasoned facts on this point? One Minister of Transport of a political party who receives large donations from the trucking lobby.

  7. geoff_184 says:

    You made specific points related to this particular accident, none of which were relevant to this particular accident.

    The issue of heavier trucks doesn’t appear to have anything to do with this accident.

    The longer log trucks change introduced by Labour had safety in mind, so I’m not sure why you object to it. Preventing log truck rolls was the whole reason for making the change.

  8. Chris says:

    Wasnt it the bus’ fault for no/little indication of pulling over?

  9. geoff_184 says:

    If you rear-end another vehicle, it’s your fault, period. Even if the leading vehicle stops suddenly without warning, it’s still the following vehicle’s fault.

    I’d rather not speculate on what caused the accident, as none of us are in a position to know what happened.

    One thing I do know is that it wasn’t the government’s fault!

  10. Jon Reeves says:


    Not sure where you gleaned that information from as I have not read that in any of the news reports yet. However, we know Police are investigating.

    Be that as it may, you are responsible for not driving in a dangerous manner which would result in your vehicle hitting one in front of you. Is that not correct?

    For the truck to have done this we can assume the following;
    1) it was travelling at speed
    2) it was too close to the bus in front
    3) or the truck driver was not paying attention to the vehicle ahead.


    The point I am making, which you have not been able to grasp, is that do you not think a fully laden heavier 65 tonne MEGA TRUCK would have resulted in an even worse accident scenairo than this? You seem to be shying away from this as you know I am correct.

    Yes, the Labour Govt started the test, which then was carried over, as a test, by the National Party. The National Party, at a very unusual rate of speed, pushed through the law change despite all the facts from considerable and respected international traffic agencies proving they are not safe, do not reduce the number of trucks or accidents on the road.

    The majority of submissions on the law change were opposed to the introduction of MEGA TRUCKS, yet Joyce refused to listen to those reasoned objections and pushed the law change through. Those opposed included NZ Professional Engineers Association, AA, Campaign for Better Transport and many other organisations.

    Of course, Geoff knows better than all these organisations. Actually, Joyce and Geoff could be one in the same?

  11. Karl Weston says:

    I like the point you´re making Jon R. I don´t know why Geoff is putting his head in the sand. Everyone knows a lot of those kids would be dead if one of the “Mega” trucks hit it. We need them banned.

    More freight on rail!

  12. AKT says:

    We don’t know what happened or who is to blame so should not be speculating.
    From the police: The Eastern Bay of Plenty Area Commander, Inspector Sandra Venables, says it will be some time before the full details of the crash are known and confirmed, and Police will not speculate on the cause of the crash until that investigation is complete. This could take up to a month.

  13. geoff_184 says:

    “Of course, Geoff knows better than all these organisations. Actually, Joyce and Geoff could be one in the same?”

    Since I was one of the submitters opposed to heavier trucks, then it’s unlikely I would be SJ.

    Nice try, but there’s no denying you attempted to blame this accident on factors that were not present in the situation.

    You wanted to capitalize on hurt children as an excuse to rave about heavier trucks and the current government. Nice one.

  14. Jon C says:

    This was a tragic accident. The Minister was not in the vicinity. It is in no way his fault.

  15. Jon Reeves says:

    So Geoff admits that an accident like this would be significantly worse if it involves a new MEGA TRUCK then?

    This is a terrible accident, but at the sametime shows to many the massive impact larger MEGA TRUCKS will have when involved in accidents, no matter who is to blame. We can only criticize Steven Joyce and his National Party for pushing MEGA TRUCKS through and onto our roads without full consideration of their true dangers.

  16. AKT says:

    This debate is now closed.