The "horrific" injuries of a baby, young boy and a woman who died in a car crash have rattled a long-serving fireman who was at the scene.
The boy killed, aged 11-years-old, was in the front seat and the baby was in a car seat in the back when the crash happened on State Highway 16 ,northwest of Auckland, about 3.40pm yesterday.
Police said a 6-year-old girl who was in the same car, and a man driving a van were both seriously injured.
Helensville fire brigade chief Ian Osborne’s crew was one of three that attended the crash where four people needed to be cut from two vehicles.
‘‘It would be one of the worst crashes for horrific injuries to people that I have seen,’’ the 40-year fire service veteran said.
‘‘We are always careful with these sorts of crashes and the Helensville crew is pretty seasoned, but there were some young guys from other crews that will need watching and guiding in the next few days.’’
Osborne has grandchildren the same age as the victims.
‘‘When little people are in accidents it’s harder to accept because they play no part,’’ he said.
‘‘They are just a long for the ride and that’s the hard part.’’
Osborne said there was nothing about the road or weather conditions that appeared to contribute to the crash.
‘‘The little car looks to have crossed the centre line and T-boned the other vehicle and they’ve both ended up in the southbound lane pointing north,’’ he said.
‘‘People just need to be aware and attentive on the road.
‘‘Sadly that’s three people from one family that won’t be going home.’’
When emergency services arrived the 6-year-old girl, who is now in Starship Hospital, was out of the car.
‘‘We are unsure whether she was removed by someone or whether she was thrown from the vehicle,’’ Osborne said.
The driver of the van who had a serious leg injury was taken to Auckland Hospital.
St John ambulance relief team manager Leah Grave said a rapid-response vehicle was at the crash site within six minutes of the call.
‘‘We believe the three deceased were already gone on arrival,’’ she said.
There were no other vehicles involved in the crash near the intersection the highway and James Mackie Road.
The highway was closed for more than four hours while Police serious crash unit investigated.