A teenager was killed and another taken to hospital after a crash in Hamilton yesterday.

Police were investigating whether speed and alcohol were factors in the crash which left an 18-year-old man dead. The driver, understood to be 16 and on a restricted licence, lost control of the car on Heaphy Tce at about 1.17am.

The car crashed into a power pole, snapping it.

The driver was treated for moderate injuries, and blood samples were taken to determine if he had been drinking.

A hospital spokeswoman said he was not admitted and sent home yesterday morning.

Locals discussed the crash on Facebook. One said: "Massive crash looks really bad."

The poster said he had been fast asleep when he was woken by the sound of the crash.

Another said: "They snapped that power pole like it was a twig ... must have had some speed."

The 18-year-old was thrown from the car and died at the scene. Police expected to release his name tomorrow.

Police spokesman Andrew McAlley said 23 people had died on Waikato roads already this year, the same number as for the whole of 2010.

A large number were caused by loss of control when passing or cornering.

Meanwhile, three people were injured - one seriously - in a crash in Hamilton about 1pm yesterday.

Police said the car was travelling north on State Highway 3 when the driver was believed to have misjudged a right-hand corner on to Airport Rd and collided with a southbound vehicle. A passenger in the turning car was trapped and taken to Waikato Hospital with serious injuries.

- Staff reporter and NZPA