A man was killed in a head-on collision on State Highway 2 at Mount Bruce, north of Masterton, at about midday yesterday.
Police and emergency services were called to a two-vehicle head-on crash at about 11.54am on SH2.
Five people were in the two vehicles -- a dark-coloured Suzuki Swift and a dark-coloured utility.
Three people were flown via two helicopters to Palmerston North Hospital, with injuries ranging from minor to serious.
The male driver of one of the vehicles was trapped in his car and had to be cut free by the Masterton Fire Service. Emergency services performed CPR but he died soon afterwards.
Chris Moody of the Palmerston North Rescue Helicopter service said it appeared the two vehicles had "collided head-on at high speed".
The helicopter took a woman aged about 30 and her young baby to Palmerston North Hospital. Mr Moody said the woman, the primary patient, was in a "serious but stable" condition on arrival at the hospital.
A second rescue helicopter, the Life Flight helicopter, flew a third occupant, a man in his 60s, to the Wellington Hospital emergency department where he was in a stable condition. The man is understood to have been in the four-wheel drive vehicle.
Two ambulances were called to the crash, as well as fire and police staff.
SH2 was closed for several hours. Traffic was banked up for several hundred metres and after 1pm was diverted along Opaki-Kaiparoro Rd, through Mauriceville township.
Police could not confirm where any of the people involved in the crash lived, or the name of the man who died, by the time this edition went to press.
The Mount Bruce death brought the Queen's Birthday holiday road toll to five.