One person has died and another nine been seriously injured after a van collided with a truck on State Highway 5, near Tarawera, on Monday morning.
Emergency services were responding to the two-vehicle collision on SH5, between Tataraakina Rd and Pohukura Rd, about 9.52am on Monday.
Police said the crash, outside the Tarawera Café, involved a van and a truck.
A St John ambulance spokesperson said one person was in a critical condition, while eight others were all in a serious condition.
The road is blocked and has been closed from both the Napier and Taupō ends. Police said it would remain closed for some time.
Hawke’s Bay Police senior constable and serious crash analyst Tim Rowe confirmed one person died at the scene.
One person in a critical condition has been flown by helicopter to Hawke’s Bay Hospital, while two people with serious injured had been flown to other hospitals.
Rowe said three vans of workers were travelling north at the time of the crash. One had pulled over to the left of the road, then turned right to get into Tarawera Café and a truck travelling north couldn’t avoid them.
A Tarawera Café spokesman said the crash involved a truck carting wine and a van carrying workers who had just called into the cafe.
Fluid, thought to be wine, was leaking onto the road after the crash.
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said three fire trucks – two from Napier and one from Bay View – are en route to the crash.
“We have also asked for help from Taupo, as it is a collision between a truck and a van,” he said.
Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter Trust general manager Ian Wilmot said one helicopter is currently on its way to the scene.
A St John Ambulance spokesman said they were notified of the crash at 9.52am and had sent three helicopters, four ambulances and a St John manager in a rapid response vehicle.
Three further helicopters are also on stand-by.
Motorists are asked to avoid the area or expect delays.
MORE TO COME
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