Friends of a Tauranga woman killed in a crash could only watch in horror in the rear-view mirror of their car as her vehicle crashed side-on into a truck.

The 24-year-old suffered horrific injuries and died at the scene on State Highway 29, about 4km from the intersection with SH1 at Karapiro.

Her death was one of four to occur in crashes throughout the country overnight, including Bay of Plenty, and two in Otago.

Matamata-Piako road policing Sergeant Dean Kaio said it was too early to say what the cause of the 4.50am crash was, but they could confirm the woman's vehicle had slid into the path of the oncoming, and unladen, logging truck as it rounded a sweeping left hand bend.


Kaio said the woman was heading towards Matamata in wet conditions when the crash occurred near the Hinuera quarry.

"It actually hosed down about half an hour before so there were quite deep puddles when arrived. It was a 75km/h advisory corner but I couldn't tell you how fast she was going."

Kaio said making the crash even more tragic was the fact she had friends travelling in a vehicle ahead of her at the time.

"They saw parts of what happened in the rear view mirror and turned around. She has lost control on the road and crossed over to the wrong side of the road and struck the oncoming truck."

The vehicle slid side-on with the driver's side taking the full impact.

"Her side, the driver's side, slid into the truck so she has taken the brunt of the sudden stop along with the car and has suffered some pretty horrific injuries and died at the scene."

He said it was a timely reminder for people to drive to the conditions especially given the dry conditions and the build up of oil and petrol left on the road.

"We are going to get showers on dry roads and the build-up of oils and petrol on the road make it pretty treacherous ... you just put a bit of water on them and it turns into a skating rink like it did today."


There were no other people on the road at the time, just the friends and the truck driver.

"There's no witnesses or no one else to glean anything from just a truck driver who is traumatised but uninjured."

Meanwhile, last night a motorist died near Oropi in the Bay of Plenty when a car left the road and hit a tree around 10.15pm, while a driver was killed after a car left the road and crashed into a paddock in the Clutha District.

Police said the single-car crash happened about 11pm, between Switzers and Moncurs Rds.

A fourth man died in the Waitaki District about 1.50am when his car crashed into a bridge between Herbert-Hampden and Woodburn Rds in Herbert.

Waikato Senior Sergeant Simon Cherry said a man was in a critical condition after his motorcycle and a car crashed on Heaphy Tce, Hamilton, at 10.20pm.