Two children were fighting for their lives last night after a horror holiday crash involving a family of five.
A stunned local watched a car weave across the centre line on State Highway 16, north of Auckland, before zig-zagging down the road and rolling over.
An army of rescue workers including two helicopters, five fire appliances and police and ambulance vehicles rushed to the site near West Coast Rd.
Late last night a 14-month-old was in a critical condition and a child aged 3 was in a stable condition. Another child and two adults were moderately injured. All victims had been travelling in the same car.
Two car seats sat at the road edge afterwards, alongside the detritus of a Kiwi summer - bottles of sun tan lotion, a stray child's shoe.
Acting police sergeant Gareth Davis said the description was consistent with other eyewitnesses but it was too early to draw conclusions.
Davis said the family of five were driving south to Auckland when the accident happened. He said the roads were not busy at the time.
One West Coast Rd resident, who asked not to be named, said: "It just looked like he fell asleep. It's on a straight bit of road."
There was a worse crash further north, where a man died after he lost control of his vehicle along Kaitaia-Awaroa Rd, between Kaitaia and Ahipara.
Kaitaia Senior Sergeant Geoff Ryan said the man lost control on a moderate bend, broke through a fence and crashed into a paddock.
Meanwhile, a motorcyclist was airlifted to Nelson Hospital in a serious condition after a crash on the Whangamoa Saddle near Nelson yesterday.
The accident happened about 3.30pm near the summit of the Whangamoas when the 56-year-old male rider hit a bank.
And a heavily pregnant woman is in hospital after crashing into a lamppost, which then fell on to her car, narrowly missing two young children. Marcia Trembath and her children, aged 2 and 4, were trapped inside a crushed Hyundai Lantra station-wagon after skidding off Auckland's Northwestern motorway about 10am. Her partner Dean Delaney, a well known soccer player for Mt Albert-Ponsonby, told the Herald on Sunday said she had a fractured spine but there were no known injuries to their unborn baby.
"We are still in hospital so not doing the greatest ... she is 35 weeks [pregnant], and that is looking okay still," Delaney said.
Four people were killed in three separate crashes in the South Island on Thursday and Friday.