A horrific road crash that claimed the lives of two people has pushed Northland's road death toll to seven so far this year.

The accident happened on a straight stretch of road on State Highway 1 at Hukerenui, 30km north-west of Whangarei, about 4.45pm.

A north-bound car collided head-on with a hi-ab commercial truck heading south before both vehicles ended up in a ditch about 100m from the Jack Morgan Museum.

The driver of the car and his front seat passenger - both males - died at the scene while the truck driver was not hurt.

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Northland police road policing manager, Inspector Wayne Ewers, said the truck's front wheels came off while the car was a write-off.

"Early indications are speed was not a factor but we're not sure yet what was behind the crash."

Traffic was diverted through Kopeti Rd while the police Serious Crash Unit carried out preliminary investigation and emergency services remove the bodies about 6.30pm.

The Coroner has been informed of the two deaths.

A local kaumatua blessed the scene.

Meanwhile, pedestrians along a busy street in central Whangarei can count themselves lucky after the branch of a tree fell during peak afternoon rush.

The magnolia tree is situated along Bank St by McDonald's - an area used by students of Whangarei Primary School, Whangarei girls and boys high.

The incident happened just after schools closed at 3pm yesterday.