Police say early indications show a seatbelt wasn't worn in this morning's fatal crash between Rotorua and Tauranga.
One person died after the single-car crash on Pyes Pa Rd, State Highway 36 just after 6am.
The road was closed between Oropi and Te Matai Rds for a number of hours and cordons and diversions had been in place.
The road was reopened about 11am.
Bay of Plenty Road Policing Acting Senior Sergeant Wayne Hunter said the vehicle had lost control, crossed the other side of the road and hit a tree.
"Early indications show seatbelts had not been used," he said.
A Bay of Plenty Times reporter at the scene said a lone shoe could be seen near the car while further in the grass lay a rugby ball.
Bay of Plenty System Manager Rob Campbell thanked motorists for their patience and encouraged people to travel carefully through the area.
A St John spokeswoman said it sent two ambulances and a rapid response unit to the scene.
The Serious Crash Unit has been advised.