A two-car crash in Hawera on Friday night, which left a 26-year-old New Plymouth man dead, has been described by police as ''an absolute mess''.
Speed and alcohol are believed to be factors in the crash in which one driver died at the scene and another was taken to hospital with moderate injuries, Hawera sergeant Lincoln McCrea said.
The crash, involving a dark blue Subaru Legacy station wagon and a light blue Holden Calais, happened at 7.20pm on Friday near the intersection of Fairfield and Beach Roads.
''The cars were just a mess, the whole scene was just an absolute mess,'' Mr McCrea said.
The driver of the Holden died at the scene and had to be cut from the wreck while the driver of the Subaru removed himself from the car, he said.
The drivers were the only occupants of the cars, he said.
Mr McCrea said emergency services were at the scene for up to five hours and the Serious Crash Unit continued their investigations on Saturday.
Police were appealing to the public for information in relation to the two cars to piece together what happened.
It was not known whether the drivers were wearing seatbelts.
Anyone with information regarding the crash could phone Hawera police on 06 2780260.
- Fairfax Media
Does Opunake have a problem with drugs and gangs?Related story: Stand by your town