A Taupo woman killed in a Bay of Plenty crash over Easter was grieving the loss of her mother and will share a double funeral with her.

Denise Tito is one of three to die so far on New Zealand roads during the long weekend.

Police have not yet released the names of the dead but relatives, who asked not to be named, confirmed Tito's death with the Herald on Sunday.

They said Tito was traveling in a convoy with other family members when the crash happened at Tirohanga, between Pokuru and Tirohanga roads, north of Taupo on Friday morning.


A relative told the Herald Tito's death was a "dreadful shock".

"She was very popular. Everybody loved her. She had a lovely personality."

Tito's mother is understood to have died just days earlier, and a social media post said a joint service would be held for the two women at a Kinleith Marae tomorrow.

Tito's children posted emotional tributes to their mother on Facebook yesterday, with one saying Tito's death had "shattered" her.

Others wrote the death of Tito, described as having a "huge smile," seemed like a bad dream.

The holiday road toll rose to three yesterday following a motorcycle and truck collision in Rotorua which horrified witnesses, who said the motorbike lost control and went under the truck's wheels.

The incident, on Saturday morning at the intersection of Edmund and Clayton roads, resulted in the motorcyclist dying at the scene despite frantic efforts from responders.

Members of the public attempted to resuscitate the motorcyclist unsuccessfully.


Witness Aaron Clair yesterday told the Herald the crash was "horrific".

"People came running out of the homes to try help the young man on the bike, giving him chest compressions," Clair said.

On Friday night the Desert Rd section of State Highway 1 north of Waiouru was closed for several hours following a multi-vehicle collision which killed a child.

The crash involved two truck and trailers, and two cars, and critically injured three others who were taken to hospital.

All of the crashes are being examined by the Serious Crash Unit.

The deaths follow a slow start to the weekend, with traffic bumper-to-bumper out of the country's main centres on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, prompting the New Zealand Transport Agency and police to plead with drivers to stick to the speed limit and be patient.

Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter also chimed in, urging Easter holiday makers to drive responsibly.

During last year's Easter period two fatal crashes resulted in the deaths of a driver and pedestrian. The year before there were four deaths in the same period.

The holiday period ends at 6am on Tuesday.