Tourists in Canterbury intersection crash had only been in country one week

Two British tourists, who had only been in the country for a week, have been killed in a crash in Canterbury.

Police were called to one of the region's most dangerous intersections, at Blakes Rd and Shands Rd in Selwyn, just before 6pm on Thursday.

Area commander for Canterbury rural Inspector Peter Cooper told Newshub the pair's chances of survival were slim.

"A truck carrying a load of steel and a rental vehicle have collided on this intersection. Unfortunately the occupants of the rental vehicle have died as a result of that collision."

The truck driver has been left traumatised, Stuff reports.

Insp Cooper says the pair, "from the look of them", were in their early 60s, and had UK documentation in their vehicle.

"We're yet to identify them. They entered the country sometime a week ago through Auckland so we've got some enquiries to do with the rental company.

"We'll try and let their next of kin know in England as soon as we can."

He says it's "unclear" why it's a controlled intersection with a stop sign.

"There are a number of these in the Selwyn area.

"Selwyn's notorious for its number of intersections, and the cross-traffic issues that we have because of that."

There have been three serious crashes at that same intersection. One resulted in a death while the other two left motorists with serious injuries. It is due to be upgraded to a roundabout next year.

"It's a really good timely and unfortunate reminder of how you have to be careful at intersections.

"Watch your speed and your attention when you're entering these."