A mum travelling on a bus involved in a fatal crash with a car was with five young children and put her body on the line to protect the youngest.
Intensive care paramedic Chris Deacon was among dozens of first responders who rushed to Gowing Dr in the Auckland suburb of Meadowbank after an Audi car and a bus from the Go Bus company collided at 11.30am.
Deacon said five children, aged between about 2 and 7, were travelling on the bus during a "day out" with an adult who was mum to three and looking after the other two.
Deacon said the mum was injured in the crash as she tried to protect the children.
"She protected the baby with her own arm, so she had some quite bad bruising."
One child on the bus was sent to hospital to be assessed, Deacon said.
"[The child] was sucking on an ice-block so looked reasonable content, but was quiet, and had gone skidding along the floor of the bus, so went to hospital to be checked."
Residents on the suburban street rallied together to assist the injured.
Geoff Parmenter was at home when he heard a "big bang".
"At first I was not sure what it was. Then I went outside and saw all of the neighbours - it was a bit crazy."
Parmenter offered his covered driveway as a temporary relief shelter to the injured.
"We were just keen to help out, there was not much else we could do, really.
"We got some chairs out, water, ice packs and gave the young children some ice blocks. They were all pretty rattled, but once they had their ice blocks and settled a bit more they began to see it all more as a spectacle."
A young man died and 10 others were injured in the crash.
Deacon, who is from the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, said the male driver of the car, who he believed was aged in his late 20s, was quickly found to have died in the crash.
Bus passengers were assessed under the car port of a neighbouring home and video from the crash scene.
St John Ambulance said in a tweet after the crash one person was seriously injured, another had moderate injuries and eight had minor injuries.
Deacon said at least one adult bus passenger likely suffered a fracture — to an ankle — but other bus passengers escaped with bumps and bruises.
Deacon didn't see the driver of the bus, but helped the passenger of the car. Only two people were in the car at the time of the crash, he said.
The man, aged in his late 20s, had broken bones.
He was conscious and talking as he was asked questions about what sport he
played — cricket — as part of the assessment, Deacon said.
The man, who was taken to Auckland City Hospital in a serious condition, told Deacon he was from Auckland but didn't say what his relationship was to the driver of the car.
"I think he was unaware that his mate was dead."
Deb Hollier was reading a book on the deck with her husband Mike when they heard a "huge bang".
"We ran down the stairs, and just saw the car, crumpled. It was horrible," Hollier said.
"People were just in complete shock."
Many of their neighbours were assisting getting people off the bus.
Somebody had taken a fire extinguisher from the bus and was putting out the car fire, while several others tried to assist the men trapped in the car.
They helped gather the children and the injured onto their neighbour's driveway where they helped look after them.
"The kids were all very upset, we cuddled and comforted them and got them water and ice blocks."
She and her husband had lived at their Gowing Dr address for about 24 years and had seen several serious accidents in the same area.
"The issues are speed, and how narrow the road is. Cars come speeding around the corner, and with cars parked on both sides of the road - especially on weekends - it is very narrow."
Hollier said there should be speed bumps and potentially yellow lines on one side of the road.
Bronwyn Walker-Randall had just pulled into her driveway in her car when she heard the bang right in front of her property.
"I saw the car had caught fire, and immediately called 111.
"I am pretty shocked and distraught it has happened here, in our neighbourhood.
"We knew something like that was going to happen, though. Cars are parked all along the road. We would like to see speed bumps and yellow lines put in on the corner."
Senior Sergeant Matt Rogers said the car had crossed the centre line and had been speeding.
"It is tragic. If he had not been speeding he'd be off having a beer with his mates right now."
The bus driver was "pretty shaken up", but had been given support by his company Go Bus, Rogers said.
The Gowing Dr and Cruickshank Cres intersection was closed following the crash.
A police spokeswoman said at 2pm the Serious Crash Unit was at the scene and the closure was likely to continue for a few hours.
A Go Bus manager told the Herald earlier he was on his way to the scene and didn't have more information.
According to Auckland Transport's website bus no. 782 is the only bus that travels along the section of Gowing Dr where the crash occurred.