A tourist was killed after being struck by a truck as his wife watched at a notorious Napier intersection yesterday.

Emergency services were called to the scene near the intersection of State Highway 2B and Meeanee Quay about 5pm.

Witnesses described two cyclists trying to negotiate their way across the state highway to get to the other side.

It is possible they were trying to get access to a cycle track there.

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Police said initial inquiries suggested the husband and wife, who were visiting Napier and staying nearby, had been walking their bikes across the busy road.

The wife had successfully crossed, but unfortunately the husband did not.

He was struck by a light truck near the centre of the road despite the vehicle braking heavily to avoid the collision.

The victim was transported to Hawke's Bay Hospital, but died shortly after.

The truck was travelling toward Napier at the time, and with the merge/turning lanes where the couple tried to cross, the road was effectively four lanes wide.

The weather was fine, but it was a busy time for the intersection.

"Unfortunately the man's wife has witnessed the crash, which is horrific when you think about it, and our hearts go out to her and her family," Senior Sergeant Greg Brown said.

It's not yet known where the couple were visting from or their ages.

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The driver of the truck and two other witnesses were traumatised by what they had seen, and all were to be supported by Victim Support.

The Hawke's Bay Serious Crash Unit will investigate the crash.

If anyone else witnessed the incident, they should contact the Serious Crash unit.

"Tragically, this appears to be an error in judgment that has resulted in the worst possible outcome for all concerned," Mr Brown said.

The man's identity was known, but police said the name would not be released until the remainder of the victim's family had been notified.

This intersection is in the top five for serious and fatal crashes in the country, and was the scene of a near-fatal collision between a logging truck and a car only a few months ago.

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The New Zealand Transport Agency has plans to have a roundabout installed at the intersection, which has claimed other lives.

"It is one of those intersections that, for some unexplained reason, people keep making mistakes with. The speed was previously reduced to 80km/h to reduce the risk but perhaps this needs to be explored further in light of the latest crashes," Mr Brown said.