Police have identified the man who died in a crash at the Mt Cook road turnoff near Twizel on Wednesday afternoon as 42-year-old Qin Li, of China.

Two other people were seriously injured and one had moderate injuries following the crash.

Li was the driver of a vehicle travelling on State Highway 80 coming from Mt Cook.

The vehicle turned on to SH8, heading towards Twizel, and into the path of an oncoming vehicle. A third vehicle, travelling from Tekapo, was waiting at the intersection.


Inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the crash are ongoing.

South Canterbury locals are now asking the NZ Transport Agency to improve the notoriously bad intersection after the death of Li.

Paul Hannagan, a volunteer firefighter and Mackenzie District councillor, was one of the first responders at the crash.

"There was mess all over the road. It seemed to be a high-impact crash and there were car parts strewn all over the place," he said.

Hannagan said the crash was just one in a long list of serious accidents at the intersection and the second fatal one he had attended.

"It seems to be people coming off the Mt Cook Rd that are not used to looking left or right and pulling out into traffic which is doing 100km/h past there," he said.

"The previous fatal I went to was a truck where the guy was driving legally and a car pulled out right in front of him."

Last year, local schoolteacher Sandy Nelson launched a petition calling for changes to the intersection.


The petition called for NZTA to change the give-way sign at the intersection to a stop sign and add a flashing warning sign to alert drivers.

Despite the petition getting more than 800 signatures, appropriate action wasn't taken.

Mackenzie District Council Mayor Graham Smith said this latest death has renewed the appeal to make the road safer.

"As mayor I am particularly concerned that there has been a tragic accident and my sympathy goes out to the family and all those concerned," he said.

"I have put a couple of calls into NZTA at present, but they haven't responded as of yet.

"We have talked about this intersection several times with NZTA. We are particularly concerned about it."