Truck with no driver hits mall
A truck with no driver has crashed into an Auckland mall.
A police spokesperson said the crash happened at around 3.30pm on June 26 when a truck and trailer unit crashed into the side of Northwest Shopping Centre on the corner of Tawhia Drive and Maki St.
Eyewitness Samantha Bennett was waiting at the traffic lights to continue onto Tawhia Drive when she saw the Specialised Transport Ltd truck heading straight for her.
‘‘It was quite surreal,’’ she said. ‘‘It was very, very freaky. I just kept thinking he’s going to turn, surely he’s turning into the road but then, no.’’
She said she managed to swerve around the truck as it came at her and saw it ‘‘plough’’ into the Farmers store.
She pulled over to the side of the road and went to check on the driver.
‘‘No-one was there,’’ Whenuapai resident said.
After waiting around for about 10 minutes, she said the truck driver came out of Farmers to see the truck crashed into the side of the building.
Bennett said she expected there to be a loud bang, but instead it was a ‘‘scraping’’ noise as the barriers that block motorists from turning left on Maki St slowed the truck down.
The near miss left her shaking, and it took hours to calm her nerves, she said.
Northwest Shopping Centre manager Jennifer Andrews said the
‘‘I just kept thinking he's going to turn, surely he's turning into the road but then, no.’’
the damage to Farmers’ window display was minimal. The centre’s management team put security staff at the scene and called an emergency glass expert to secure the damaged window.
She said it was up to each party’s insurer to decide how repair costs would be covered.
The police spokesperson said there were no injuries, and traffic was not disrupted because of the crash. It took about two-and-a-half hours for the truck to be removed from its wedged position, and was seen driving off at about 5.53pm.
No other emergency services were called to the scene, the police spokesperson said.
The spokesperson said initial reports from the scene backed the claim there was no-one in the truck at the time of the crash.
Specialised Transport Ltd did not respond to multiple attempts for comment.
The truck and trailer that crashed into the mall is a Specialised Transport Ltd truck.