Person dead after vehicle hits tree in Kinloch, Taupo
Police believe speed was a factor in a crash that claimed the life of a man in Taupo on Monday.
The crash happened at 7.34am on Mapara Rd in Kinloch, between King Rd and Katelyn Place, on a small straight just after a bend.
The driver of the Mazda ute, and sole occupant, was trapped after hitting a tree and died at the scene.
"Evidence indicates that speed was a factor in the crash," Senior Sergeant Fane Troy of the Taupo Area Road Policing Group said in a statement.
"This crash is another tragedy to our community."
A witness at the crash scene described it as "horrific".
She said it looked like the vehicle involved was a ute and the main impact was at the front where the bonnet had been pushed back towards the ute's tray.
"It was just a mangled mess," she said.
Since January there have been 10 deaths on the roads in the Taupo and South Waikato region.
"Police encourage all our road users, both local and those travelling through, to follow the basic road safety messages.
"Slow down, wear your seatbelts, do not drink and drive, beware of distractions and if feeling tired stop and have a rest."
Police are working to establish the identity of the deceased to ensure next of kin are informed.
Police will be able to name the victim of the crash on Tuesday.