One person is dead after a car and logging truck collided near Hawke's Bay Airport yesterday afternoon.

Senior Constable Bryan Farquharson said several witnesses saw the car, which was travelling north towards Bay View, veer into the truck's path.

The crash happened on a straight section of SH2 about 1km north of Hawke's Bay Airport.

The vehicles collided in the middle of the southbound lane and the point of impact was thought to be on the driver's side of the logging truck, which was fully laden with a trailer.

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Emergency services were called just after 2pm and State Highway 2 was closed well into the early evening.

Farquharson said a man was the only person in the car.

Yesterday the mangled wreck, described by someone on the scene as a "ball of metal", sat covered on the side of the road while traffic was directed through the northbound lane for a short period of time.

The southbound truck and trailer appeared to have lost a front tyre in the smash and ended up partially dug into dirt on the side of the road.

Witnesses said the truck almost ran off the road trying to avoid the crash.

Access to the airport was open last night but motorists were asked to allow more time for travel and use the diversions in place via Hill Rd in Bay View.

A substantial amount of traffic had built up on either side of the road closure yesterday. Northbound traffic backed up to the Pandora Rd and West Quay Rd intersection and southbound traffic backed up to Bay View.

The road re-opened about 7.45pm.

Passengers on an InterCity bus, stranded in the traffic north of the crash, were spotted getting off the bus and walking towards Napier with their bags.

The fatal crash was near where 22-year-old Jonathan Knuiman from Napier died after being hit by a car in June.

According to the Ministry of Transport, 223 people have died in 199 fatal crashes nationally for the year as of last night. This was 38 more fatal crashes and 35 more deaths than the same time last year.

An earlier version of this article included a photograph of the car involved in the accident. The Press Council ruled that publication of this photograph breached two of the Council's Principles. The full Press Council decision is here.