The occupants of a vehicle that crossed the centre line and collided with a truck south of Whangarei yesterday have been identified as German nationals.
Two women and one man were killed after three cars and a light truck collided on State Highway 1 at Oakleigh about 11.15am.
Northland police road policing manager Inspector Wayne Ewers said the first of the three northbound vehicles, driven by the German nationals, is believed to have crossed the centre line and collided with a light truck travelling south.
The female driver was killed while the other person in the vehicle was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
As a result of the collision, the truck driver lost control and crossed the centre line into the northbound lane and a third vehicle struck the truck head-on, killing both occupants, a male and female.
The truck driver was taken to hospital in a serious condition with suspected spinal injuries.
A police spokeswoman said names of the deceased would not be released until all next of kin were advised, but confirmed autopsies were being carried out today.
She said the passenger of the first car and the truck driver had both been spoken to by police.
The female passenger of the first car was said to have sustained shoulder injuries, while the truck driver has been discharged from hospital.
"We would like to thank the emergency responders for their assistance; Fire and Emergency New Zealand, St John, and the road crews who kept us safe while working on the scene, and the people of Northland for being patient while we cared for and treated the people in this crash and investigated what happened," the police spokeswoman said.
Police are asking anybody who saw the crash, that has not spoken to the police, to contact Whangarei Police on 09 430 4500.