Two elderly Pukenui women were killed when the car in which they were passengers and another vehicle, believed to have been driven by a Chilean national, collided on a bend on Houhora Heads Road on Tuesday morning.

One of the women died at the scene shortly after the crash, the other in Whangarei Hospital. Police had not released their names at edition time yesterday, but they have been named in a death notice published today as Marion Andrew and Pauline Ogilvy.

Both were longtime residents of Pukenui, and actively involved in a number of community organisations.

Emergency services were called at a little after 10.30am. The Northland rescue helicopter was subsequently called, reportedly flying two seriously injured people to Whangarei, although according to police both drivers and a passenger in the second car escaped with minor injuries.

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The crash took Northland's road toll for the year so far to 19, compared with 15 at the end of May last year and 40 for 2017. The Far North's toll for the year so far now stands at nine.
The worst year on Northland's roads was 1989, when 55 people died. The record low toll was seven in 2011.

The officer in charge of the Northland Road Policing Unit, Inspector Wayne Ewers, said it had been a "rough start" to the year. Investigations into Tuesday's crash were continuing, and charges could be laid.