Members of a family injured in a crash which killed a young girl on Friday night remain in hospital.

Five people were taken to hospital following a two-car collision on State Highway 1, near St Andrews in Canterbury, south of Timaru, on Friday afternoon.

It is believed the child and her family were from Auckland, and had been holidaying in the South Island.

Two people were critically injured in the crash, while three others were also injured.

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Three people remain in hospital, but the family have requested no condition updates be released to media.

"The family have requested privacy, and have instructed us not to give any status updates," a Canterbury District Health Board spokesman said.

However, it is understood that two members of the family are still in a critical condition and a third serious.

Two people from the second car were earlier discharged from Timaru Hospital.

Tim Nally, a former St John's volunteer who was among the first on the scene, said when he arrived, the male driver of one of the cars was unconscious.

The child and her sister were trapped in child restraints and there "was blood everywhere".

"I ran back to the house and grabbed a knife [to cut through the seatbelts]," Mr Nally said.

After removing the child from the wreckage, he said: "I closed her eyes and put a blanket over her.

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"I still think of the kid's face ... picturing her. I can't get rid of her look unless I close my eyes."

The child's sister and father were last night fighting for their lives.

The child's mother suffered serious injuries. Three people in another car in the smash were also injured.

The Timaru crash scene was just past a stretch of the road where the speed limit dropped from 100km/h to 70km/h. There was a sharp corner, and in the five years he'd lived on the road, there had been four major crashes, he said.

Mr Nally said he wanted to launch a campaign with transport officials and politicians to have the speed limit reduced further, and planned to erect a sign stating, 'This corner kills', near his property.

- NZME, Herald on Sunday

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