The 8-year-old boy killed in a nose-to-tail crash in Napier on Thursday morning was James Crous from Hastings.

The boy was in a car driving along State Highway 2B when the driver failed to slow for a 300m queue of vehicles waiting at roadworks.

The car struck the back of an SUV, killing the boy instantly.

Police said the boy was wearing a seatbelt.


A number of locals have since raised concerns about the lack of signage in the area warning motorists of the temporary 30km/h zone.

Margaret Bridgman said she and a friend narrowly missed having an accident on Wednesday.

Her friend was driving towards the airport in the 100km/h zone when they suddenly noticed traffic banked up.

Her friend braked and pulled on to the grass verge to avoid going into the back of the queue of traffic.

New Zealand Transport Agency central region highways manager Neil Walker said apart from Thursday's fatal crash, there had been no reported crashes in the area since the roadworks started.

"We have not been made aware of any near-misses, and the contractors on site have not raised any concerns," Mr Walker said.

He said that the NZTA took any crashes in the area of their roadworks sites very seriously.

"As part of our standard practice following a fatal crash, the agency's safety team will be reviewing the State Highway 2B site."

He said the police's Serious Crash Unit was investigating the crash and would provide findings into possible contributing factors once their investigation was complete.

The site continues to be under a temporary speed limit of 30km/h.

Over the weekend the site will be open to two-way traffic and on Tuesday the site will revert to one-way traffic while the works are completed.

Mr Walker said extra signage would be put in place to alert motorists to potential delays and giving them the option to consider alternative routes.

"This is over and above what is required under the Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management," he said.

"Our thoughts continue to be with the families involved in the crash."

A hospital spokeswoman said the boy's mother and 5-year-old sister were released from hospital yesterday afternoon, while three people from the SUV were released late on Thursday.

Napier woman Jan McLellan agreed that the warning signage in the area was insufficient.

"I was rear-ended on the same stretch but coming from the airport end on Friday, April 15."

She said that luckily neither her nor the passenger were injured but the police were in attendance and took statements.

"Slowing to 30km/h is not enough as there are then men signalling to slow down to 10km/h at the work site."

She said the accidents would not happen if drivers were paying attention and looking ahead.

"It is all down to carelessness and inattention."