A passenger was killed and the driver flown to hospital after the car they were in drove off the road and hit a tree in Kaipara Flats, north of Auckland last night.

The patient, a man in his 50s, was the driver of a utility vehicle that lost control and left the road about 11.30pm near Dome Forest.

He was able to free himself from the vehicle and was transported to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition, suffering chest and abdominal injuries. The man was flown to Auckland City Hospital and is now in a stable condition. The front seat passenger was dead when emergency personnel arrived.

Police blocked off part of Kaipara Flats Rd for about four hours before it was reopened at 3.30am.

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The serious crash unit is investigating.