Fire crews are working to free a deceased woman who is trapped in a car that collided with a truck just south of Hastings this afternoon.
The crash occurred on SH2 near Pakipaki around 3.30pm today.
Police say a Nissan Cefiro travelling south appears to have lost control and crossed the centre line straight into the path of an oncoming truck that was travelling north.
The car became wedged under the truck and fire rescue crews have been trying to free the woman. She is believed to be from Central Hawke's Bay.
A white ute that was following the Nissan was also hit by the truck.
There were no other injuries to any of the other vehicle occupants.
The road will remain closed at least for another hour. Diversions are in place for traffic heading in both directions.
Emmerson Transport managing director Ian Emmerson confirmed the truck involved was one of theirs.
He said the driver was as good as could be given the situation.
"He's uninjured, but pyschologically he's affected.
"The driver will be supported. Whatever support he needs, we'll give him."
Mr Emmerson said they felt for the families involved. "You don't wish that upon anyone."
At the scene this afternoon, a red sheet was placed over half of the mangled wreck.
Cordons shut the stretch of road off from motorists, with diversions in place at Te Mahanga Rd and Te Aute Trust Rd.
Cars, trucks and school buses were driving on the road before cordons were set up and were drawn to a stand still.
Uniformed students piled out of the busses and waited on the side of the road in 27C heat.
Motorists started doing u-turns as police officers advised of a delay that could be as long as five hours.
A number of trucks had to reverse some 200m back up the road as they were too big to complete a u-turn.