Three people have been killed in a serious crash at an Ashburton intersection.
Two vehicles collided at the intersection of Mitcham Rd and Hepburns Rd just after 10am on Monday morning.
A fourth person was critically injured in the crash, and a fifth escaped with moderate injuries.
The vehicles involved were a teal Astra station wagon and a white Ford Falcon ute, the station wagon ripped in half by the force of the crash
Emergency services are now at the scene and the surrounding roads remain closed.
Senior Sergeant Matt Emery from the Ashburton Police said the roads would remain closed until the scene could be cleared.
"The cordon will be lifted as soon as we can clear these vehicles from the scene."
He said the three dead had not yet been identified, but confirmed they were two children and the driver of the teal station wagon.
Motorists are asked to avoid the area and take alternate routes where possible.
It's been a deadly morning on New Zealand's roads, with five members of one family killed after a car hit a tree near Taupō just before 7:40am.