By Tess Nichol and Dubby Henry
A witness to a crash in Mt Eden that killed a man and critically injured two young children described hearing their cries from the back seat of a wrecked car moments after it collided with a bus.
Resident Mikey Beban was one of the first at the crash at the corner of Mt Eden and Bellevue Rds about 3.30 yesterday afternoon.
"I was about 30m away [and] there was an almighty bang. I looked across the road and the car had gone into the front of the bus," Beban said.
The white car had been shunted to the side of the road on impact and the front of the Metro double decker bus was destroyed.
What was left of the bus' front bumper was hanging off on the road, surrounded by shattered glass and inside a heavy police cordon erected yesterday afternoon.
A green tarpaulin covered the crumpled car.
Beban saw a toddler in a party dress being brought out of the car and attended to by emergency services, and a baby who appeared to have trouble breathing before being whisked away to Starship hospital.
A 2-year-old girl and a 1-year-old boy were taken to Starship in a critical condition, where they remained last night.
Despite emergency services arriving within minutes of Beban's 111 call, the driver of the car died at the scene.
"It's just sad to think someone is at home waiting for their daughter and maybe husband to return," he said.
Beban said an off-duty nurse on board the bus and an off-duty paramedic near the scene were able to help, which he was thankful for.
Two bus passengers suffered minor and moderate injuries and were taken to Auckland City Hospital.
The bus was a double-decker from NZ Bus, which is contracted to Auckland Transport. It was running on the 277 route heading down Mt Eden Rd from Three Kings towards the city and Britomart.
A four-sided cordon was in place yesterday evening while the serious crash unit investigated.
Police said last night no further updates were available until today.
Epsom MP David Seymour has sent his condolences to the families of those involved.
"This is an unimaginable tragedy, involving tiny children in the heart of Mt Eden on a low-speed road. My heart goes out to those involved.
"We should also pay tribute to those fast-acting members of the public who helped mitigate the tragedy.
"No doubt there will be questions about how this was able to happen, and they will be answered by the correct authorities. For now our thoughts should be with the families affected by this tragedy."