State Highway 1 was closed twice after a man died following a collision between his vehicle and a logging truck 100m south of the Ruapekapeka turn-off near Towai yesterday afternoon.
The highway was reopened at around 5.30pm but was due to close again later in the evening while a crane was lifting the logging truck out of a deep ditch.
The truck had veered across the road following impact and ended up on its side facing north, while the car came to a halt facing south on the wrong side of the road, rammed into an abutment just south of the petrol Alley garage.
St John district operations manager Tony Devanney said the driver, a male in his mid-40s, had been trapped and died at the scene. The driver of the logging truck had not been taken to hospital in an ambulance, he said.
Two ambulances, a helicopter and fire appliances attended.
No further information was available until next-of-kin had been advised.
The Advocate understands a kaumatua was called to the scene.
The fatality is Northland's sixth road death this year. The NZTA website, which updates road death statistics every 24 hours, records that as at midnight May 14, 2011, there had been four deaths for Northland and seven for the year.
The figure for Northland for this year before yesterday's fatality was five. Gillian Archer, road safety co-ordinator for Whangarei and Kaipara districts, said there had been three fatal accidents in Whangarei this year, but two were double fatalities.