Three of four dead in Waikato crash thought to be French tourists
A rural Waikato resident says the two survivors he helped at the scene of a fatal crash on Saturday evening were French tourists who had only been in the country for a day.
"I couldn't understand much of what they were saying and the only other information we could get from them was that they were from France," the Netherton resident said.
Four people died in the crash on State Highway 2, Netherton, in the Hauraki District, about 7.40pm on Saturday.
Waikato Road Policing Manager Inspector Marcus Lynam said on Sunday afternoon that three people of the five people travelling in a white Toyota Corolla and the driver and sole occupant of a black BMW died at the scene.
READ MORE: Four dead, two injured in Waikato crash
Lynam said two people from the Toyota were taken to Waikato Hospital, where they underwent surgery. Both are now in a serious but stable condition.
Police closed SH2 between Fisher Road and School Road overnight and said the Serious Crash Unit is investigating.
Fog in the area was heavy at the time, Lynam said.
Another Netherton resident said he heard a loud crash, followed by an explosion and then silence.
The truck driver, who also asked for anonymity, looked out his lounge room window to see a vehicle on fire just south of the SH2 intersection with Fisher Road.
"I chucked my high-vis vest on and ran out to help," he said.
"The car that was on fire ... there was no helping [any] people in there. It was too late to get the fire extinguishers, the flames covered the whole of the car.
"It wasn't until the fire was put out that you could see there was a body.
"I got a torch and started searching the drain for bodies because it was dark and I wasn't sure if there were people flung from the car.
"That's when I saw there was a white vehicle in the drain.
"One guy was able to walk himself to the ambulance and I helped the fire guys get the other [survivor] on the stretcher."
The resident and two of his neighbours were on the scene trying to help where they could, assisting emergency services.
He said police were at the scene until 5am on Sunday.
The smell of rubber was still strong on Sunday morning and oil and sand were spread out across both lanes.
Car parts littered the drain and the remains of charred tyres lay on the side of the road.
The truck driver said driving conditions were not ideal on Saturday night.
"It was really foggy from about 4pm yesterday. I saw the fog coming, but thought it was rain."
He has lived in the area for 10 years and said while SH2 is prone to accidents, the area outside his house was not.
"The whole road is pretty gnarly, but it's a safe road when you drive to the conditions."
Lynam urged any witnesses police had yet to contact to call 07 858 6200.