Five deaths in crash near Te Awamutu, Waikato

Five people have died tonight in a “horrendous” crash near Te Awamutu, police say.

Waikato police confirmed the deaths.

“Sadly five people have lost their lives in this crash. Emergency services are here working through it, making sure we collect all the evidence, … and trying to establish what has happened at this horrendous crash,” Waikato road policing manager Inspector Jeff Penno said in a video interview with Stuff.

He said evidence would be collected while still maintaining respect for those who had died.

Penno confirmed it was a head-on crash.

“This is a high-volume road and at that time of day it is quite busy but we understand the conditions to be dry and the weather was fine although it would have been getting dark,” he told the New Zealand Herald.

Once the serious crash unit had completed the collection of evidence, the bodies and the vehicles would be removed from the scene and would be treated “with the respect that they deserve”.

The two vehicle crash occurred on State Highway 3 / Ōhaupō Rd just before 4.45pm.

Police earlier said in a statement that multiple people have been injured.

St John said three ambulances, two rapid response vehicles and two operations managers have attended, but did not say how many patients were being treated.

Fire and Emergency said three trucks from Te Awamutu and Chartwell also responded, and one remains at the scene.

Ohaupo Road is closed between Jary Road and Ngaroto Road and motorists are asked to avoid the area.

Detours are in place and the Waipā District Council said the road was likely to be closed for several hours.

The serious crash unit is attending the scene.

According to the news on Radio New Zealand

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