Northland Rugby Union has paid tribute to a "tireless volunteer" who died in a crash involving a car, a ute and a school bus this morning.

Nathan 'Blackie' Walters, 70, of Northland died at the scene of the crash, which happened shortly before 8am on State Highway 12, south of Mamaranui.

He was Dargaville Old Boys' club captain and senior A coach.

"'Blackie' will be deeply missed as he was a tireless volunteer who always had a smile on his face, was available any time to drive the bus transporting club and Northland Rep teams to fixtures throughout and province and wider afield," the union posted in a tribute on Facebook.

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Nathan Walters was Dargaville Old Boys' club captain and senior A coach. Photo / Facebook
Nathan Walters was Dargaville Old Boys' club captain and senior A coach. Photo / Facebook

The club would acknowledge Mr Walter's death tomorrow, with moments of silence ahead of all Northland games. Black arm bands would also be worn.

"Our thoughts are with Blackie's family at this very sad time."

Another person was seriously injured in this morning's crash, but all the children on board the bus had escaped unscathed.

A principal at a nearby school told the Herald the bus was not involved in the accident but had pulled over to the side of the road.

The Police Serious Crash Unit is investigating.