A driver may face charges after his passenger died in a high speed crash near Levin in the Horowhenua on Friday night.

Levin police today named the dead man as 19-year-old Joshua David Peters of Palmerston North.

He was one of two who died on the roads at the weekend.

The crash happened on State Highway 57, about 5km south of Shannon, 33km south of Palmerston North, about 6pm on Friday.

Police estimated the 1993 Subaru had been travelling about 140km/h when it tried to pass another car.

It smashed through a fence and wrapped around a power pole, knocking it onto a 45 degree angle.

The driver, a 21-year-old man who was the dead man's flatmate, suffered minor injuries, but was distraught, said Constable Terry Greig.

Alcohol was not a factor in the crash and police today were continuing their investigation into whether the driver will face charges.

Meanwhile a father and son saved lives by extinguishing a fire in a crashed car north of Taupo yesterday.

The head-on crash, which left a 22-year-old woman dead, happened about midday on State Highway 1 near Maroa, about 20km north of Taupo.

A northbound Toyota and a southbound Honda collided on a straight stretch of road.

The driver of the Toyota, a 21-year-old female overseas student, and two woman passengers, suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to Rotorua Hospital.

The dead woman, who was also a passenger in the Toyota, was an overseas student studying in Auckland.

A 28-year-old Putaruru man driving the Honda suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to Rotorua Hospital where he is in the intensive care unit.

His passengers, Putaruru men aged 33 and 35, received moderate injuries and were taken to Taupo Hospital.

BayTrust Rescue Helicopter spokesman Neil Dodds said the quick actions of a father and son had saved lives, when they stopped and put out a fire in one of the crashed cars.

Police said the road was dry and the weather fine at the time of the crash, and their investigations were continuing.

- NZPA