An American honeymooner is dead and his wife in a critical condition after their car collided with a truck near the Waitomo Caves this morning.
The couple had married four days ago in the United States and were holidaying in New Zealand.
Police said the pair failed to give way as they were leaving the Waitomo Caves Road, turning their car right into the path of a northbound concrete truck on SH3.
The 31-year-old man was killed and his 28-year-old wife was cut out of the car by fire crews, before being taken to Waikato Hospital by air ambulance.
"This is an absolute tragedy" Waikato road policing manager Inspector Leo Tooman said. "My heart goes out to the family and friends of the couple."
Tooman said it seemed the tourists overtook a stationary vehicle on the left hand side that was giving way at the intersection, and then turned right towards Te Kuiti, into the path of the northbound truck.
Police want to speak to the driver of the other vehicle and any witnesses.
The road was closed for most of the morning, with the northbound lane reopened at lunchtime.
The intersection was considered an accident black spot with several accidents every year.
Ross O'Halloran, a tour guide at The Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company, drives the road often driving to work from his Te Kuiti home.
''You take your life in your own hands every time you pull out of there,'' O'Halloran said.
''There's been a lot of accidents there as it's pretty hard to see southbound. It's a dangerous intersection. You really have to give it some stick to get out of there to get in with the traffic.''
''People go on about how it is tourists, they sometimes end up on the other side of the road, but the locals don't slow down. ''
Trish, from the nearby Caves Motor Inn, agreed that speed was a problem.
''They all speed and we have advised police of that.''
- © Fairfax NZ News