Two people are in a serious condition after a major crash near Mosgiel.
The accident occurred on State Highway 87, near Tirohanga Road in Otago just after 5pm.
A police spokesman said three of the five men in the Subaru Impreza were thrown from the vehicle when it crossed the centre line and rolled.
It is understood others were trapped in wreckage for some time.
The men - all from Otago - were aged between 22 and 34, the spokesman said.
Maimun Nisha Maslin, who lived about 500 metres from the crash site on Outram-Mosgiel Rd, said she saw helicopter and at least three fire engines, three police cars and a couple of ambulances at the scene.
"There was lights flashing everywhere and a lot of commotion, my husband asked me to see what's happening when he heard the sound of a helicopter," said Mrs Maslin.
"We didn't hear the crash, it's a straight road."
However she said that within half an hour of the accident, the wreckage had been cleared and injured airlifted by helicopter.
The serious crash unit is investigating.