'Everything just went into slow motion' - driver describes seconds before near head-on tanker crash

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An Auckland man who narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a milk tanker has described how "everything just went into slow motion" in the split seconds before he swerved to miss it.

Eric Lin recorded hair-raising footage on his dashboard camera as a Fonterra milk tanker swerved onto the wrong side of Thermal Explorer Highway, between Auckland and Rotorua, to avoid a Hyundai 4WD that had entered the road without looking.

The tanker swerved into the opposite lane Lin was travelling along, smashing off the front of the Hyundai, and causing Lin to drive onto the road side emergency lane to miss the truck.

"Pretty much if I was two or three seconds ahead I would not have had time to swerve away from the truck," Lin said.

Auckland man Eric Lin seconds before he narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a milk tanker.

Source: Supplied

"I saw them [the Hyundai driver] just look my way as they pulled out and everything just went into slow motion."

As the collisions between the tanker and Hyundai occurred, Lin said he remembers seeing within the Hyundai "quite clearly their head coming forward and a white plume of smoke, which I presume was their air bag".

Fittingly, Lin is often travelling around the country for his business Lintek, which produces GPS devices and dashboard cameras.

He said it's not the first time he’s been in a similar near miss on the roads.

"I'm not too freaked out now, to be honest it's not the first time I've seen that kind of situation," Lin said.

"But I went for a bike ride in the redwoods to de-stress after the incident."

A statement from Fonterra general manager of transport Barry McColl said "we are obviously relieved that nobody was hurt in the crash and pleased to see our tanker operator taking quick action".

Lin says the driver of the destroyed Hyundai quickly got out of their car following the crash.

"They were in shock," Lin said.

"By the time I got out and crossed the road the car park was full of 20 people asking if they were OK.

"They got out of the car really quickly." 

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