An elderly man was critically injured in a head-on crash this afternoon which closed a section of State Highway 2 for about three hours.

The man had been trapped in his car after a collision with another vehicle on SH2, just north of Carterton at 2.45pm.

Police Sergeant Quentin Hoera said one vehicle had been travelling south and the other north when the crash occurred at the top end of the northbound passing lane.

The two vehicles involved each had one male occupant.


"Scene examination by the Serious Crash Unit will confirm this later in the investigation, but initial witness accounts suggest the southbound vehicle has crossed the centreline," he said.

Masterton Fire station officer Andy Simpson said the critically injured driver had to be cut out of his vehicle before he could be taken to hospital.

"We cut the two doors (driver's side), and the 'B' pillar out of the car so we could remove him from the vehicle."

The man, in his 70s, was taken to Wairarapa Hospital by Wellington Free Ambulance, and the other driver was treated at the scene for less severe injuries.

Masterton Fire Service, Carterton Fire Brigade and police were at the scene.

The serious crash unit are investigating, and the road was closed with diversions in place from East Taratahi Rd to Hughes Line.

- Wairarapa Times-Age