Waikato police have issued a stark reminder for tradies carrying unsecured items in their vehicles after a head-on crash on the outskirts of Hamilton.
However, the tradie involved disputes the police version of events and says all but four of a multitude of tools and supplies - including a piece of wood - were fastened in the back of his Toyota Hi Ace.
Police were called to the crash involving Adam Cowie's Toyota and a light truck at the intersection of Osborne and Kay Rds last Thursday.
Police said while Cowie, who was driving on his own side of the road, was minding his own business the crash could have had deadly consequences.
They claimed several items went careering through the front windscreen - including a plank of wood and a saw.
"We are not looking to discuss blame here but the cops in attendance noted the 'lucky' side of it, which is worth sharing," Waikato police wrote on their Facebook page.
"The driver of the Toyota Hiace has slammed on his brakes (prior to collision) resulting in all his tools coming flying forwards, towards his head and his passengers'.
"A piece of wood has flown at the windscreen at such force that it has smashed out the windscreen. You can imagine what could have happened!
"If you are a tradie or own a company this may be an opportunity to consider any improvements that you can make (in case of an emergency). May stop anything nasty happening."
However, Cowie told the Herald this afternoon the plank of wood never went through the windscreen, and remained secure even after impact.
"The plank of wood didn't smash the windscreen - it was secured enough in the back. Obviously you can tell that the truck hitting the van hit the A pillar caused the front window to smash."
The builder said there were only four tools which flew out of the window on impact - a clamp, a glue gun, hack saw and multi box, along with his straw hat and a few other smaller items.
"The cops made it sound like it was every tool in my van."
"The four hand tools that flew out the window were the only things unsecured in the whole van - not the other 100 tools that were secure."
And he said he decided not to slam on his brakes - instead preferring to save his legs from being crushed.
He was now recovering at home, using crutches, and waiting to hear back from surgeons as to whether his leg was broken and if he needed surgery or not.
"I lifted my legs out of the way so they didn't get crushed on impact. That's what's lucky about the whole story. And cause I did that I didn't brake...If I had slammed my brakes on I'd have no legs right now."
He said the other driver was at fault in the crash but he had sympathy for him as that particular intersection was "dodgy" with poor signage.
"I tried to drive off the road as much as I could without tipping my van onto my son's side then realised he wasn't going to miss us, so I lifted my legs up and then we were hit."
Cowie said he understood what police were trying to do but he wanted the whole story to be told.
He was yet to be formally interviewed by investigating officers.