Grieving friends of two young men killed in a crash north of Auckland are planning a tribute ride to honour their mates following a deadly 24 hours on the nation's roads.

Ricky Barker, 18, and Andre Ahman, 20, died yesterday when their vehicle collided with another car in a semi-rural area on Dairy Flat Highway between Jeffs Rd and Green Rd.

A man in his 20s who was travelling in the second vehicle was also seriously injured in the crash and airlifted to Auckland City Hospital, where his condition had last night stabilised, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Ricky Barker was a car enthusiast. Photo / Facebook
Ricky Barker was a car enthusiast. Photo / Facebook
Ricky Barker was killed when two cars collided on Dairy Flat Highway between Jeffs Rd and Green Rd. Photo / Facebook
Ricky Barker was killed when two cars collided on Dairy Flat Highway between Jeffs Rd and Green Rd. Photo / Facebook

Road Policing Manager Inspector Trevor Beggs called the accident a "very difficult scene".

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He said one vehicle had crossed over into the path of the other in the high-speed crash.

"This is very sad, and a tragic and unnecessary loss of life. Two families from our community are now devastated at the loss of these two young men.

"Another family is also coping with a seriously injured loved one in hospital. Our thoughts are with these families today."

The victims were among eight people who lost their lives in road crashes in just 24 hours yesterday, including four people killed in a fiery crash during foggy conditions in Waikato last night.

Messages of love and grief have been posted on social media about the Dairy Flat victims.

A tribute ride has been organised for the young men, who were car enthusiasts, next week.

The event's host posted to Facebook that the incident was heart breaking.

"I know Ricky had a massive passion on cars which is why I'm doing this and have known him for ages and I wanna make this up to him since I couldn't say bye to him."

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Tributes scrawled on the boot of a car for Ricky Barker. Photo / Facebook
Tributes scrawled on the boot of a car for Ricky Barker. Photo / Facebook

The riders intend to meet up in Albany later this month then cruise to Mission Bay before going to the scene of the crash. Then they'd honour their friends by putting something down like "flowers [or] car parts and do one last skid for them".

Barker's friends and family scrawled messages of love over a white car that they intended to get varnished.

A Facebook post described one of the dead as "the most amazing little bro I could ever ask for".

"We feel it is time to let everyone know, between 1am & 2am this morning my beautiful, amazing little bro was taken from us," the post said.

"Rest in paradise my little bro you are the most loving, caring, and kind hearted young boy ever and I can't believe you are gone, you are the most amazing little bro I could ever ask for, I love you more than I can ever explain, your going to be miss bro RIP [sic]."

Silverdale Volunteer Fire Brigade station officer Daniel Capon said the two young men were already dead when firefighters arrived.

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"It was a pretty serious scene and unfortunately there were two lives lost," he said.

"It's a difficult thing to turn up to, but we just had to do the job we were there to do."

The highway was closed for some time while police investigated.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.