Emergency workers took two hours to extract victims from a fatal three-vehicle crash in Southland this afternoon.
One person has died in the crash, taking the holiday road toll to four.
The crash occurred on the Te Anau-Mossburn Highway in northern Southland about 3.30pm and also left four others in a serious condition.
Inspector Lane Todd, of Invercargill police, said two of the vehicles had two occupants, while the other carried three people.
Three helicopters attended, transporting three patients to Southland Hospital and one to Dunedin Hospital.
A Fire Service spokesman said fire fighters from Mossburn, Te Anau, and Lumsden assisted ambulance and police staff in extracting patients from vehicles.
The spokesman said it was a long job, with fire services remaining at the scene for more than two hours.
Inspector Todd said it was too soon to tell what caused the crash.
A young child died as the result of an earlier crash near Tongariro National Park, becoming the second child killed on the roads this weekend.
The child was one of three injured a single car crash at Owhango, in between Taumaranui and the Tongariro National Park.
Emergency services were called to the incident on State Highway 4 at approximately 1.15pm.
Specialist police units are still at the scene conducting an examination to determine the cause of the crash.
However the initial reports suggested that the vehicle, carrying three people, had crossed over the centre line and crashed, Inspector Marty Parker, of central district police, said.
The trio's vehicle was the only involved in the incident and was travelling north, police said.
The crash follows another fatal road inicident on State Highway 1 near Raumati South yesterday. An 11-month-old girl was flown to Wellington Hospital yesterday evening but later died from her injuries.
Two seriously injured adults were also taken to hospital after the crash and one had been discharged today, police said.
The two crashes have taken the official Christmas/New Year's holiday road toll to four. The official holiday road toll period started at 4pm Christmas Eve and finishes at 6am on January 3.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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