A Dargaville man, believed to be in his 70s, has died at the scene of a crash in Northland this morning involving three vehicles.

Northland road policing manager Inspector Wayne Ewers said after an initial examination of the scene it appeared a bus carrying 14 school students, understood to be travelling southbound towards Dargaville on SH12 Mamaranui, had stopped on the road and was about to turn right into a gravel area to collect or drop off students.

A Hilux ute, carrying two people, travelling behind the bus has taken evasive action to avoid the school bus and has clipped the right rear corner of the bus, crossed into the northbound lane and collided with an on-coming car carrying one male driver believed to be in his 70s.

The force of the head-on collision has spun the ute around to face the northbound lane and the car has been shunted off the road. The driver of the car has died at the scene.

Advertisement

No school students were injured and and the male and female in the Hilux ute received minor injuries.

The death brings Northland's road toll to 14 compared with nine last year.

"This is another sad day for some of our Northland families and everyone involved," said Mr Ewers.

The commercial vehicle investigation are on the scene along with the serious crash unit. A kaumatua has blessed the scene.

The schools have been contacted by police and have made sure counselling is available to the children. Victim support are also helping everyone involved in the crash.

At 11am police opened one lane but were still surveying the scene.