One man is dead and others seriously injured during a spate of crashes on Bay roads yesterday -with four crashes happening within two hours.
A man is dead following the first crash on Te Puke Highway north of Te Puke near Black Stump Berries, yesterday afternoon.
The man, who police said was an 18-year-old Te Puke local, died at the scene of the crash which involved three vehicles, just south of resurfacing work on Te Puke Highway. The female driver of a Nissan four wheel drive was taken to Tauranga Hospital.
The man who died was the driver of a south-bound Honda.
Acting Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson of Tauranga Police, the Western Bay area response manager, said it appeared the south-bound vehicle clipped a van travelling in the opposite direction.
''It clipped the vehicle and then impacted with the north-bound Nissan,'' said Mr Anderson. ''Both drivers' sides were impacted and the airbags were deployed on both vehicles.''
Mr Anderson described the Nissan driver's condition as serious but stable.
The third vehicle was largely undamaged and the driver was able to drive it away after giving a statement to police.
The crash left the Honda in the middle of the south-bound lane and the Nissan four wheel drive on the grass verge opposite.
Two appliances from Te Puke Volunteer Fire Brigade attended the incident.
Emergency services were called to the collision, near Black Stump Berries, at 2.28pm.
The road was closed for nearly two and a half hours as the Serious Crash Unit investigated and vehicles and debris were removed.
Head of Western Bay road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said the highway was reopened at 5.02pm.
The cause of the fatal crash was still being investigated, he said.
Later that afternoon a motorcyclist was seriously hurt in a crash at one of Tauranga's busiest intersections.
Police said the motorcyclist had gone through the windscreen of a bus in the collision, which happened about 4.10pm at the roundabout of State Highway 29 and Cameron Rd, known as Barkes Corner. He sustained leg and chest injuries. Two other cars were also involved.
Mr Campion said the motorcyclist who sustained serious injuries in the Barkes Corner crash which also involved a bus had been taken to Tauranga Hospital.
"We were certainly stretched this afternoon and at least one staff member from Rotorua police was called on to help back us up," he said.
Emergency services were also called to a car crash at Cameron Rd and 21st Ave about 3.45pm. It is understood a baby was taken to Tauranga Hospital.
Another crash backed up traffic at the intersection of Cameron Rd and 9th Ave at 3.55pm.
So far this year, there have been 15 deaths on Western Bay roads.
The latest fatality comes just 15 days after Tauranga truckie Martin Ferry, 30, lost his life after a two-truck collision on the intersection of SH2 and Pongakawa Station Rd.
The road toll for the region last year was 18 deaths, while in 2014 there were 16 deaths on local roads and highways.
Other fatalities on Western Bay roads in 2016:
April 16: Cyclist Shinia Matehaere, 5, killed on Matapihi Rd after a collision with a ute.
May 7: Tauranga man Dion Pollero, 29, killed after his car collided with a truck on SH29 on the Kaimai Range.
May 21: Te Hira Whittaker-Ngaropo, 12, and his brother Chance, 16, died when their vehicle crashed on SH2 in Pikowai, near Pukehina.
July 29: Leigh Antoinette Rhodes, 60, and her friend Kenny McRae, killed after being struck by a vehicle while changing a tyre on Ms Rhodes' SUV on SH29A between Baypark and Maungatapu.
August 2: Tongan men Sitiveni Vaipulu, 44, Koli Vaipulu, 21, Halani Fine, 28, Samuela Taukatelata, 28, and Sione Teulaka, 21, killed after their car collided with a logging truck on the intersection of SH2 and Dawson Rd.
August 27: Respected Bay elder Paula Heke killed after her car collided with another vehicle on Te Puna Rd, next to the intersection of Te Puna Station Rd.
October 7: Tauranga father-of-two Shayne Peter Waaka, 40, after two car collision on SH29 Lower Kaimai Range.
October 13: Martin Ferry died in in a crash on State Highway 2 near Pongakawa.