A driver who died after crashing into a school bus early today in frozen Canterbury skidded out of control on black ice, police said this afternoon.

The female driver and sole occupant of a Toyota Surf was travelling towards Christchurch on State Highway 75 Christchurch-Akaroa Road shortly after 7.30am when she lost control crossing McQueens Bridge at Gebbies Valley.

Sergeant Paul Piper said early indications were that she had encountered "a large patch of black ice and has spun into the path of a school bus travelling in the opposite direction".

The woman died at the scene, police say.


The male driver and sole occupant of the school bus was trapped for about an hour before being extricated by firefighters.

He was taken to Christchurch Hospital by Westpac Rescue Helicopter with moderate injuries.

The death has been referred to the coroner.

The victim's name will be released when the process to inform the next of kin has been completed, police say.

SH75 Christchurch-Akaroa Road was closed for approximately four hours while Canterbury's serious crash unit completed a scene examination and cleared the area.

"Black ice is extremely dangerous and with forecasts of more heavy frosts in the coming days it is important that all road users take extra care when travelling on state highways, rural and residential roads in the district," said Mr Piper.

It was one of at least 25 crashes on Canterbury roads this morning where freezing overnight temperatures and black ice led to treacherous driving conditions.