Police and emergency services were called to the scene of the serious crash that closed SH1 north of Atiamuri near the Bull Ring Cafe at 2.39am.
Northbound traffic was being diverted west on to SH30 at Atiamuri to Whakamaru, then north on SH32 back to Tokoroa.
Police said at 6.50am the road would be closed for several more hours as emergency services worked on the "complex scene"."At this point, at least one person has been confirmed deceased, however, emergency services are still working to separate the crashed vehicles."
Tokoroa Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief Dave Morris said the brigade were first responders and arrived to find a "horrific" scene. "We didn't know how many people were involved but the driver of the truck was out of the truck walking." The truck was transporting frozen goods and was not carrying dangerous goods, he said. It was possible there were two people in the car but he could not be certain.
The crash, near a major intersection, closed the road. Photo / Stephen Parker
Signage was being arranged at Tokoroa for southbound traffic using the same route. Southbound traffic on SH30 from Rotorua was being diverted north to Tokoroa then west and south on 32 and 30, back to Atiamuri.
The crash follows a horror triple fatal in Hamilton where three people - two women and a man - were killed in a two-car collision on the Waikato Expressway. The crash happened on a slight bend of Mangaharakeke Drive/State Highway 1, between the suburbs of Dinsdale and Nawton, shortly after midnight on November 10. The crash this morning pushed the country's road toll up to at least 324.
When asked about the skyrocketing road toll and what's driving it, a police spokesperson said there were four main behaviours that contributed to death and serious injury on the roads: speed, driving while impaired-alcohol, drugs or fatigue - driving while distracted, and not wearing a seatbelt.
The crash this morning was the second fatal crash on the highway in recent weeks.