A man aged in his 40s is dead and four others were airlifted to hospital after two crashes in Central Hawke's Bay this morning.

The man was killed when his white Mitsubishi Chariot collided with a truck on the Takapau plains, between Snee Rd and SH50, about 10.05am. He was the only occupant of the vehicle.

The truck driver, also aged in his 40s, was badly shaken but was otherwise unhurt, police said.

The accident scene was on a straight stretch of road, and there had been moderate drizzle in the region all morning.


The second collision occurred minutes later further north on the same stretch of road. Four occupants from two vehicles in the second crash were flown to Hawke's Bay Hospital by rescue helicopter.

Sergeant Ray Kirkby, of Hawkes Bay Police, said serious crash investigators were at the scene of the crash, about 300m north of Snee Road.

"This is a tragic reminder to all on the roads over the holidays to keep themselves safe and drive to the conditions, especially as greater numbers of people are travelling away on holiday or to family and friends for Christmas.

"We don't want to see anyone else needlessly die on our roads this holiday season.''