A truck carrying Christmas hams smashed into a historic church archway in Auckland on Monday, completely destroying the solid concrete structure.

Reverend Jan Wallace of the Pukekohe Anglican Church said it was a “miracle” the driver wasn’t badly injured in the accident, which left the cabin of his truck crumpled.

“A historic piece of archway has been destroyed,” she said.

“[We’re] sad but happy because, miraculously, [the driver] was taken away by ambulance, [but] he was conscious and was sitting up and talking to us.”

Dramatic photos from the scene show the badly damaged cabin of the Budget delivery vehicle and the top of the entrance archway on the ground.

Wallace said the archway was built in the 1920s in memory of those who died in World War I.

The incident happened about 12.30pm on Monday.

Wallace said most of the locals in the area knew not to use that entrance, but one of the other two entrances to the church.

“The truck underestimated whether he could get through the archway or not.

“There [are] three driveways. I do feel sorry for him. It was an error of judgment that anyone could make.”

Inside the truck were 23 hams for a Christmas lunch for the elderly and food parcels for families in need. Luckily these were not damaged in the accident, Wallace said.

Police were notified of the accident on Queen St, Pukekohe, just after 1pm.

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