One man is in intensive care after a head-on crash on the main road between Blenheim and Nelson that injured seven people. The crash occurred yesterday at about 4.30pm on state highway 6 at Okaramio, south of Havelock, in Marlborough.

Two men were in a serious condition after the crash with multiple injuries and airlifted to Nelson Hospital by helicopter. One of the men, aged 44, has been transferred to Wellington Hospital and remains in a serious condition in intensive care. The other man, 49, remains at Nelson Hospital and is in a stable condition. Three people with moderate injuries were driven to Wairau Hospital by ambulance.

Two people suffered minor injuries and did not need to be taken to hospital. It is believed one of those injured was a child.

Senior sergeant Scott Richardson, of the Tasman police, said: "It appears as if a car may have crossed the centre line but investigations are under way into that."

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The road remained closed for some time while police investigated the scene.

The crash was one of a string of calls received by the Nelson Marlborough Rescue Helicopter yesterday.

Earlier, a 54-year-old Wellington was taken to Wairau Hospital after falling off a bike in the Wither Hills near Blenheim.

The man was located by emergency services on a ridge top and assessed by the on board intensive care paramedic before being flown to hospital in a moderate condition with shoulder and chest injuries.

Local painter Mathew Valk, who was one of the first people at the scene after the crash, said he had heard a loud bang and then saw smoke and steam.

Down the road there were "cars everywhere", he told Fairfax.

He said two if the cars appeared to have collided head on while the third seemed to have clipped the others.

Mr Valk put blankets around the injured and stayed with them until the ambulance arrived, Fairfax reported.