The driver of a vehicle which police say crossed the centreline and smashed into a ute near Tirau yesterday has died.

The crash happened about just after 4pm on State Highway 1, about 4km north of Tirau near the golf course.

The driver of the ute was uninjured and the two passengers in the car which crossed the line suffered moderate injuries.

Taupo Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said the southbound vehicle crossed the centreline as it was rounding the bend and collided into the north-bound ute.


"Part of the investigation is to the environment, the driver and the vehicle to see if there are any contributing factors to the cause of the crash."

State Highway 1 remained closed between State Highway 27 and State Highway 29 with diversions in place at these intersections. The roads were expected to reopen by 8pm.

A Waikato DHB spokesperson said the two passengers were last night stable and under observation in Tokoroa Hospital's emergency department.

A Westpac helicopter had been en route to take the critically injured person to Waikato Hospital but was stood down after the person died, a St John spokeswoman said.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating the crash and the name of the driver who was killed would be released on Monday after next of kin have been advised.