A driver is in a serious condition after being cut free from an early-morning crash with a horse running wild on a Christchurch motorway.

The Fire Service said they were called to the crash on State Highway 1 south of Kaiapoi about 5.45am.

Police said three horses had escaped near the Tram Rd on-ramp and Main North Rd off-ramp.

A motorist hit one horse and was trapped in the wreckage.

Advertisement

Firefighters cut the person free.

The driver is now in a serious condition in Christchurch Hospital.

The Christchurch City Council's animal control team had been notified.

Police said one horse died and two others had been captured and walked to a paddock.

Traffic was beginning to flow again on the road.