The death of a Napier mother hit by a truck-and-trailer horse float between Hastings and Waipawa was the first fatality on Hawke's Bay roads in more than four months.
The incident happened on a State Highway 2 rise north of the Te Aute College straight, in fine and dry conditions about 4.25pm on Friday.
Numerous motorists stopped to assist the woman and the truck driver and help direct traffic while awaiting the arrival of emergency services.
They were being widely praised by police and in social media comments from people at the scene, one of whom came across the scene en route to work and wrote she was "proud to be a Kiwi" as she saw how "everyone pulled together" to help.
The road between the SH2 intersections with College and Te Onepu roads was closed to traffic for more than four hours as police began a serious crash investigation.
On Sunday, police were still urging witnesses or anyone with any information to contact police on 105, quoting event number P048361676.
The victim's name had not been released by police by late morning on Sunday, but they said the woman was from Napier.
She was not associated with the truck or its driver, who was understood to have been transporting horses that had competed in events at the at the showgrounds in Hastings.
Emergency services attended at least two other crashes on Hawke's Bay roads during the weekend, but no injuries were reported.
The first was on SH50 near Wakarara Rd, between Ongaonga and Tikokino, late on Saturday morning, and the second involved three vehicles at the intersection of Queen and Hastings streets in central Hastings soon after 8am on Sunday.
According to Hawke's Bay Today records the fatality was the first since June on roads in the police Hawke's Bay Area, which comprises the Hastings, Napier and Central Hawke's Bay council districts.
The road toll for the area in 2021 stands provisionally at eight, less than half the comparative 2020 toll of 18.
The death also came less than half-an-hour into the nationwide Labour Day weekend holiday road toll period, which started at 4pm on Friday and ends at 6am on Tuesday.
The national road had by midday Sunday risen to six to match the number who died throughout Labour Weekend last year.
The latest were the deaths of two people in a crash which also injured three others in Wheki Valley, west of Whangarei, on Sunday morning.
The other weekend fatalities were a motorcyclist involved in a crash on SH1 near Burnham, south of Christchurch on Friday night, and two people from another SH1 crash, about 9.15am on Saturday, south of Lake Waihola, near Dunedin.