The sole survivor of a fatal crash in the Kaingaroa Forest that killed four others remains in hospital.

Four people died in a horror crash between a truck and a van in a remote Bay of Plenty forestry block on Monday.

The fatal crash happened at the intersection of Bonisch Rd and Parapara Rd in the Kaingaroa Forest about 6.40am.

A fifth person suffered critical injuries and was flown to Waikato Hospital.

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A Waikato Hospital spokeswoman said a man remained stable in a hospital ward.

Meanwhile, friends and family are gathering at Painoaiho Marae near Murupara in preparation for the burial later in the week but did not want to speak to the Rotorua Daily Post saying it was too raw.