The horrific head-on crash that killed eight people near Taupō has led this month to be the deadliest April in a decade.

Forty-five people have now died on the roads in April as this year's road toll climbed to 137 so far.

The last time 45 people died in a single month was in April 2009.

Yesterday's two-car collision - in which a 9-year-old boy was the only survivor - came after April began with a series of tragic crashes, including the deaths of five family members when their car ploughed into a tree near the Kinleith Forest on April 1.

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An 11-year-old boy was the sole survivor of that crash.

As tragic as these crashes were, they are not the deadliest to occur on New Zealand roads.

The five Tongan workers killed at the Aongatete packing site when the car they were travelling was hit by a logging truck in August 2016. Photo / Supplied
The five Tongan workers killed at the Aongatete packing site when the car they were travelling was hit by a logging truck in August 2016. Photo / Supplied

Deadly crashes

* May 18, 2005: 9 died when their tourist bus collided with a logging truck near Morrinsville

Tourists from four countries died in this crash when their private charter bus lost control around a corner of State Highway 27 in wet conditions and slammed into a logging truck coming the other way. The truck driver escaped major injury, but the bus driver along with a Thai woman, US couple, French man and family of four from India all died.

* September 10, 1995: 8 died when their house bus crashed into a Hawke's Bay river
Six friends and two babies under 2 died when their 1948 Ford house bus lost control on the Mohaka River Bridge and was sent plunging to the riverbed 50m below. The only survivor was a white bull terrier-cross, named Cruz. Mark Devine avoided the crash because he had been driving the bus earlier in the night until he was pulled over by police for drink driving and taken into custody, leaving the other friends to continue the journey without him.

The wreckage of the car in which five work colleagues died in a crash on SH2 in August 2016. Photo / George Novak
The wreckage of the car in which five work colleagues died in a crash on SH2 in August 2016. Photo / George Novak

* June 27, 2018: 7 died in a two-car collision in south Taranaki

A newborn baby and four elderly people were among the dead when two cars collided head-on around a slight bend on SH3 in Waverly. Passenger Ani Nohinohi was the only survivor from the crash in which her partner and two daughters died.

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* September 28, 2003: 5 dead in a three-car crash near Rotorua
Two 8-year-old boys were among the dead when one car heading north collided with two others coming south at Rainbow Mountain, south of Rotorua. Four of the dead were in one car, while five others were seriously hurt in the crash.

* August 2, 2016: 5 work colleagues died north of Tauranga when their car hit a logging truck
The five men of Tongan descent had just finished their evening shift at a coolstore in Katikati and were pulling onto SH2 when they collided with a logging truck. The dead included a father and son, while four of the men had been in the country only months before the crash.

* October 11, 2017: 4 died when two cars crashed near Taupō
A 5-year-old boy was among the dead after two cars collided on SH1, while eight others, including a 10-month-old boy, were left battling a raft of injuries.