A father and son who were tragically killed in a truck crash will be farewelled in their hometown today.

Aaron McDonald, 38, and his 8-year-old son Cruz died when the Weatherell Transport truck they were travelling in crashed through a barrier on State Highway 2, about 5km north of Norsewood in Hawke's Bay, and plunged down a 20m cliff on Monday.

Family and friends will gather this afternoon to farewell the pair in Gisborne.

Cruz loved trucks so much he wanted to be a truck driver just like this father when he grew up, and would go to work with his dad when he could, a family member said.

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Staff and students of Makauri School, which Cruz attended, paid tribute to him in an obituary.

"Makauri School and community hold treasured memories of our classmate and friend Cruz. You are now a star in our sky. We can look up and remember you and your dear Dad. To Anah, Rome and families, we grieve with you and for you.

Aaron McDonald and Anah McDonald. Photo / Facebook
Aaron McDonald and Anah McDonald. Photo / Facebook

"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal. Love leaves a memory no one can steal."

Another tribute reads "Keep on trucking. xx."

McDonald, who grew up in Tauranga, had worked for Weatherell Transport for about 10 years but had been driving trucks for about 15 years.

He moved to Gisborne about 10 years ago, where he met his wife Anah and had Cruz and Rome, 6.

Victim Support in Gisborne have been supporting the family.

The police serious crash unit is investigating the crash and the deaths will be referred to the coroner.

A police spokeswoman said police cannot comment on the cause of the crash until the investigation is over.