A man is dead after his car collided with an army Unimog being driven by a soldier who was learning to drive it.

The crash was at the intersection of Watershed and Ashhurst Rds between Ashhurst and Bunnythorpe near Palmerston North.

The male driver of the car was critically injured and died at scene.

His critically injured wife, who was in the passenger seat, was injured and taken to Palmerston North Hospital.

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The couple's daughter arrived at the scene and was on her way with a police officer to inform other family members of the death.

The two men in the Unimog were uninjured but the driver was shaken.

A New Zealand Defence Force spokeswoman confirmed a soldier on a driver training course and an instructor were in the Unimog.

"Our sympathies are with the family of the deceased," a spokesman said.

A reporter at the scene said the army truck was down a ditch, and had crashed into a fence, with the car in front of it. The car's driver side was extensively damaged.

Military police are on site as is a police photographer, the Serious Crash Unit and an ambulance.

Another army truck is also on site.

Diversions were in place and motorists were advised to avoid the area.

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MidCentral District Health Board communications advisor Dennis Geddis said the woman was in a stable condition and was being assessed in the hospital's Emergency Department.