A man injured in a serious crash between a car and a truck in South Canterbury this afternoon has died in an ambulance on the way to hospital.

Police said the vehicles crashed on State Highway 1 south of the Rangitata Rd bridge, north of Orari, about 2pm.

The car's driver, its sole occupant, died in an ambulance on the way to Timaru Hospital.

The truck's driver was uninjured but was badly shaken.

Advertisement

Police closed SH1 after the crash to allow the Canterbury serious crash unit to carry out a scene examination. The highway was expected to remain closed until at least 8pm.

Diversions were in place and police said there were no significant delays to travellers at this time.

Police said they would like to hear from anyone who witnessed the crash and could not stay at the scene or was unable to stop.

No further details about the deceased would be released until he was formally identified and his next of kin had been informed, police said.

The death has been referred to the coroner.