A resident who heard a fatal collision on the Hawke's Bay Expressway says "my heart went out to the woman and her family''.

Two people were killed after a two-car crash in Napier on Friday.

A woman who lives nearby but did not want to be named was hanging her clothes out at 1.30pm on Friday when she heard a "heavy bang" from State Highway 2 and then the woman's cry.

"She cried out like when you have lost someone important and you are hurt," she said.

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"I felt shocked."

The "heavy bang" was what police later confirmed was a double fatal crash on the expressway between the Kennedy Rd on-ramp and intersection with Taradale Rd.

"It was very hard to hear the distress, my heart went out to the woman and her family," she told Hawke's Bay Today.

Police said they arrived at the scene of the crash at 1.35pm.

Ambulance and fire and emergency staff assisted police, with one ambulance and two rapid response vehicles at the scene.

Victim Support staff were also at the scene.

The road remained closed while the Serious Crash Unit examined the scene. Diversions were in place.

Traffic down Kennedy Rd on Friday afternoon was backed up for several hundred metres, with traffic also heavy in other areas near the diversion.

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At 5.45pm police confirmed that the road was cleared and the road was fully open.

Police, bottom right, block off the expressway after a serious crash. Photo / MetService Traffic Cam
Police, bottom right, block off the expressway after a serious crash. Photo / MetService Traffic Cam