The man who died in a two-car crash on State Highway 2 north of Tauranga has been named by police.

He was 61-year-old Kevin Adrian Hamill, of Auckland.

Police said the circumstances of the Whakamarama crash on Sunday remained under investigation by the Serious Crash Unit and the death is being referred to the Coroner.

"Police extends our thoughts to Mr Hamill's family at this difficult time."

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Hamill was killed instantly after his white Honda crossed the centre line and smashed into another car mid-morning on Sunday, Sergeant Wayne Hunter told the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday.

The crash happened at 11.05am about 200m from the intersection with Gill Lane.

The sole occupant and driver of a red Nissan received moderate leg injuries and was taken to Tauranga Hospital for treatment, Hunter said.

He said the fatality happened as police were responding to 111 calls from members of the public who reported seeing Hamill's Honda cross the centre line a number of times between Katikati and Tauranga.

A police officer with his patrol car's lights and sirens on desperately tried to get there to intercept the Honda.

Hunter said just before Snodgrass Rd the officer learned that the Honda had crossed the centre line again and crashed into the Nissan.

"One more minute and the officer probably could have got there in time," he said.

SH2 was closed for several hours between Munro Rd and Snodgrass Rd intersections.