Timaru crash: Five victims revealed as 15 and 16 years old, car 'broke in half' - police

The five young people who died in Saturday night's horror crash in Timaru were all aged 15 and 16, police have confirmed.

At a news briefing on Sunday morning, local police area commander Inspector Dave Gaskin said the car "broke in half" after colliding with a pole shortly before 7:30pm.

Six people were in the five-person car when it crashed, Gaskin said. One of the victims was found in the boot.

It appeared speed and alcohol were factors in the crash, he added.

"I can confirm that five young boys, aged between 15 and 16, lost their lives in the crash and the driver of the vehicle is currently in Timaru Hospital in a stable condition," Gaskin told reporters.

The little remains of the car involved in the crash.
The little remains of the car involved in the crash. Photo credit: Holly Henry/Newshub.

"We know obviously what the end result of the crash was - our job now is to seek the reasons why and what happened, and the investigation will continue."

He said the families of the victims have been notified, but police were not yet in a position to release their names. 

"They are all Timaru boys. Timaru's a very small community and I'm sure this is going to touch a lot of people - I know the family of one of the boys so it is a tragedy. 

"They woke up today to a nightmare that won't go away. Any crash where someone loses a life is a tragedy and I think the tragedy goes to the family forever - five young boys at that age losing [their] life is terrible.

"It will reverberate around our community for a long time." 

Earlier, Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen told Newshub the small community is reeling from the "devastating" incident. 

"It's absolutely gutting really. It's going to be devastating for the community and it's going to take a long time to come to grips with what's happened."

Gaskin said the victims' identities will be released when the coroner is satisfied they can do so.