The death of a truck driver at Waiharara on Saturday took Northland's road toll for 2017 to 40, more than 10 per cent of the provisional national toll of 380.

The 44-year-old man, whose name has yet to be released by police, was travelling south towing two trailers laden with watermelons, bound for Auckland. He had his 12-year-old son with him.

According to police the driver, who did not appear to have been restrained, lost control on a right-hand bend on the SH1/Cox Rd intersection just before 8am, the vehicle coming to rest against a bank. The driver died at the scene, while his son was taken to hospital but was discharged later that day.

The highway was closed for three hours, with diversions via Te Hiku forest roads and a farm track.


Meanwhile a man, believed to be local, was flown by rescue helicopter to Auckland Hospital with life-threatening head and other injuries after he fell from a car on the Karikari Peninsula in the early hours of Thursday morning.

According to police he was riding on the bonnet of the car when the female driver lost control on an S-bend on Inland Rd, near the Rangiputa turnoff, the car crashing through a fence, rolling, and coming to rest in a paddock.

The driver, believed to be a holiday-maker, was not hurt. She failed a roadside alcohol breath screening test.

Earlier, at about 8pm on Wednesday, emergency services were called to a motorcycle crash at Taipa. It is understood that the 18-year-old rider was performing wheelies at Taipa Point when he fell and hit his head on the concrete boat ramp. He was not wearing a helmet.

The Auckland teenager was flown to Whangarei Hospital in a critical condition with head and shoulder injuries but made a remarkable recovery, and was discharged next morning.

An injured man who was found on the side of Quarry Rd, Awanui, at midnight on Friday might also have fallen from a vehicle.

A Kaitaia firefighter said a large patch of oil and debris further up the hill suggested revelry including burnouts and bonnet surfing had gone badly wrong.

There was no sign of the vehicle.

A man suffered life-threatening head and other injuries when the quad bike he was riding and a two-wheel bike ridden by his son collided at Tantutanu, south of Tauroa, Ahipara, on Saturday.

The older man was flown by rescue helicopter to Auckland Hospital while his son suffered wrist and knee injuries.

On Tuesday evening a 70-year-old Auckland man crashed his Toyota Prado into a trolley bay in the car park at Pak'nSave Kaitaia, the impact propelling the vehicle over a bank and into the roadside drain.

The vehicle was on its side when emergency services arrived, police saying both speed and alcohol were likely factors.

Immediately before that incident police pursued a Subaru Legacy south on the Awanui Straight towards Kaitaia. It had been clocked at 133km/h, reaching 150km/h, and passing other vehicles on the inside, before slowing to negotiate, just, the Pak'nSave roundabout in North Rd.

The driver almost lost control again at Grigg Corner, almost clipping a motorcycle as the car entered Pukepoto Rd, shortly before police lost contact.