Stuck transporter

A New Zealand car transporter driver was left more than a little red-faced yesterday, after he got his lorry stuck under a low bridge, extensively damaging a number of the cars in his care.

The incident occurred on Humber Street in the south-island city of Christchurch when the driver misjudged the height of a 3.5m rail bridge.

While the truck's cab managed to sneak under the concrete structure, the trailer got wedged, with all three cars on the top deck being damaged – one balanced precariously off the edge of the wagon, and two toppling off the rig altogether.

The car suffering the most damage was a previous generation Audi A4, worth around $60,000 (£30,600) when new. The two cars loaded on the bottom deck of the trailer escaped with just superficial damage.

Police described the crash as a result of driver "miscalculation", reports New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz.

"He was heading down Humber St to get on to Thames St to head through and ultimately go to Christchurch," said police constable Dean Paterson.

"He was probably a bit more embarrassed than anything."

The driver of the lorry was described as being shaken but uninjured.

An unnamed local café worker described how she knew the lorry wouldn't fit under the bridge as soon as she saw it drive past.

"We stood up and watched and it was literally like a domino effect when he hit the bridge. We just called emergency services and went out to help stop traffic coming through," she said.

Humber Street was closed for an hour while the wreckage was cleared up, with only minimal disruption to both road traffic and rail services.