A 76-year-old man has died in a three-car crash that blocked State Highway One just south of Levin.
The man died following the crash at Ohau just after 2:15pm this afternoon, police said.
He had been taken to Wellington Hospital by the Palmerston North rescue helicopter but did not survive. Three others – two women and a man – were in a stable condition in Palmerston North Hospital, Midcentral District Health Board spokesman Dennis Geddis said.
The Serious Crash Unit was investigating and the man's family were being informed of his death, officer in charge of the Central District Highway Patrol Group, Senior Sergeant Kris Burbery said.
The police's preliminary investigation suggested that a north-bound Toyota Hilux crossed the centre line and crashed into a south-bound Suzuki Swift before colliding into a BMW.
"The BMW driver was airlifted to Wellington hospital but died shortly after arriving. Two people sustained moderate injuries and were transported to Palmerston North Hospital and the fourth person received minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment," Burbery said.
State Highway 1 was reopened shortly before 6pm after wreckage had been cleared from the accident site at the intersection of SH1 and Bishops Rd in Ohau.
The traffic buildup this evening had been compounded by SH1 roadworks to the south in Paraparaumu, NZ Transport Agency spokesman Anthony Frith said.
SH1 was blocked off in both directions to allow the rescue helicopter to land at the crash site.
Firefighters had to extract two people from two of the crashed vehicles, a Fire Service spokesman said.
Police were eager to hear from witnesses to the crash in an effort to piece together what had happened, Burbery said.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or has any information was asked to contact the Palmerston North Police on (06) 351 3600. Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
- The Dominion Post