Five-year-old boy among dead in Taupō crash

  • 11/10/2017
The scene of the accident.
The scene of the accident. Photo credit: Philips Search and Rescue Trust

A five-year-old boy is among the dead following a head-on car collision north of Taupō that killed four and injured eight, police say.

The child, a 60-year-old man and two women, aged 65 and 44, have been identified as those killed in the crash between two people-movers at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Tutukau Road on Tuesday.

The first three were in one vehicle, while the younger of the women was in the other, police said on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a 10-month-old left with life-threatening injuries in the crash was transferred to Starship Hospital in Auckland overnight, a Waikato DHB spokeswoman confirmed.

A 42-year-old man also critically hurt remained in intensive care, while a 32-year-old woman was in stable condition on Wednesday morning.

Two girls, aged two and three, and two women, aged 17 and 66, were all in stable condition at Rotorua Hospital, while an eighth injured person did not need to be admitted, police said.

A childs sock sits on top of wreckage at the scene of the accident.
A childs sock sits on top of wreckage at the scene of the accident. Photo credit: Newshub

NZME reports the crash involved a Tongan church group returning to Palmerston North following an event in Auckland.

Senior Sergeant Nicky Cooney said police had begun their investigation into the crash, describing it as "an absolutely devastating event".

"The investigation is in the very early stages but what is clear is that the vehicles have impacted head-on," he said.

"At the moment our priority is ensuring support is provided to those who need it following this tragedy."

It would take the Serious Crash Unit to work out further details, he said.

A cordon at the crash site was lifted late on Tuesday and the road has reopened to traffic.

The deaths mean 14 people have now died on roads since Friday and at least a dozen others have been seriously injured.

The national road toll for the year stands at 296, which is 44 greater than at the same time in 2016.

The spate of crashes over the weekend prompted pleas for caution from police and the Automobile Association, which described an upward trend in road deaths in recent years as concerning and saddening.