One person is dead and another was fighting for their life this afternoon after a car crashed into a bridge in Northland.

Four people were in the vehicle, and a Fire Service spokesman said one was killed.

A 10-year-old girl is in critical condition following the accident.

The crash happened on Pouto Rd at Te Kopuru, about 25km south of Dargaville, shortly before 4pm.


Firefighters had to free a person trapped in the wreckage.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter airlifted the girl to Auckland's Starship Hospital, where she remains in the intensive care unit.

Two other people were taken to hospital by ambulance.

A St John Ambulance spokeswoman had earlier said that two people were in critical condition and two others were in a serious condition.

Police said one of the survivors had life-threatening injuries.

Two ambulances and one helicopter were called to the scene.

Pouto Rd was closed following the crash.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said they could see the crash site from their home.

"There was a lot of activity down there with helicopters and emergency services," the neighbour said.

"We're a very tight community and it's quite rare for an accident to happen round here. It's just tragic."