A 10-year-old boy is in hospital with critical head injuries after two cars and a truck collided north of Wellington yesterday.

Life Flight Trust crewman Colin Larsen said the Westpac Rescue Helicopter arrived on the scene on State Highway 1 about 11.25am, where multiple patients were treated.

A 10-year-old Waikanae boy, who was a rear-seat passenger in one of the vehicles, was flown to Wellington Hospital emergency department by helicopter with head injuries.

Four other people were taken by ambulance, one was in a serious condition and the others had moderate injuries.

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The road was closed for four hours while emergency services cleared the scene.

Nearby resident Aaron Stevens said the road was notorious because driveways exited on to a very busy and bendy stretch of road.

"With that speed and with people pulling in and out of properties, it's not safe. I have nearly collected cars, people and pets out on that road."

Detective Slade Sturmey of Levin CIB said the crash happened at a location known as Marycrest.

A northbound white car was stopped on SH1 indicating to turn right into a private driveway, he said. A small truck ploughed into the back of it, pushing it into the southbound lane, where it collided with a car coming the other way.

The 10-year-old boy was undergoing surgery last night.

A 7-year-old girl has spinal injuries and injuries to the remaining occupants were not believed to be life-threatening.

Two people in the truck and another two in the other car were treated at the scene.

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Meanwhile, a 31-year-old pedestrian was hit by a car and killed early yesterday in the coastal Nelson suburb of Atawhai.

And a child was seriously injured on Maraetai Coast Rd near Clevedon yesterday afternoon, after being struck by a bicycle or motorbike.

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Vehicle rolls, man dies

Frantic efforts by a group of off-road enthusiasts failed to save the life of a passenger in a Toyota Land Cruiser which dropped 35m off a bank on farmland in Ruakituri, near Wairoa.

Gary Grayson, 72, and Mike Finlayson, 69, were on a three-day fundraising safari with 117 other drivers when the vehicle rolled about 2.30pm on Friday.

Organiser Mark Harris said a group of people, including two nurses, spent 90 minutes keeping Grayson conscious.

Grayson later died in the rescue helicopter.

Finlayson remained in a serious but stable condition at Hawkes Bay Hospital.