The victims of a crash with a truck in which three people died north of Kaikoura are believed to be part of a Malaysian family travelling to one of the mosques in Christchurch where 51 people were shot dead in March.

Malaysia's New Straits Times has reported a family medicine specialist and her husband were among the family members killed in the crash on Friday.

The family wants the victims to be buried in Christchurch, the paper reported.

The eldest brother to one of the crash victims said that such an "arrangement" was in place in the event of such an outcome.

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"We are still waiting for information from the authorities from the other side to let us know what actually transpired.

"We will request that they be buried there as my youngest sibling told me that they were supposed to visit a mosque at Christchurch which was targeted by terrorists in March.

"That is why we agreed for them to be buried there as they did not manage to see the place," he said.

He said the family had flown to New Zealand on December 2.

The brother said he and several other family members were leaving for New Zealand.

A third person was killed and two people critically injured during the accident when a truck and the car in which the family were travelling collided on State Highway 1.

Police are still to release the names of the victims and their relationships.

The accident was part of a horror 24 hours on New Zealand roads that claimed the lives of six people.

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Three people have died in a crash near Kaikoura, two are dead after a train collided with a car near Morrinsville, and a pedestrian has been fatally struck by a train in South Auckland.
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Three dead, four injured after horror crash near Kaikoura
Fatal crash: Two people dead after car hits train near Morrinsville

The two critically injured patients are believed to be teenagers who were flown via rescue helicopter to Wellington Hospital and Christchurch Hospital.

Tasman road policing team leader Grant Andrews told Stuff on Friday the crash was a "horrendous tragedy" for all involved.

A witness said the crash was north of Hapuku and south of Mangamaunu on a section of road not affected by earthquake repair works. Photo / Google
A witness said the crash was north of Hapuku and south of Mangamaunu on a section of road not affected by earthquake repair works. Photo / Google

Two Kaikōura fire crews used cutting equipment to free passengers from the car.

Kaikōura fire chief Ian Walker said their crews removed the bodies from the car involved at about 8pm on Friday.

Kiwi Concrete director Jonny Francis said the truck involved in the crash was a road metal truck from its Kaikōura branch.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of those involved in this tragic incident. We're supporting our staff and working closely with the police with their investigation."

A witness at the scene said the crash was north of Hapuku and south of Mangamaunu on a section of road not affected by earthquake repair works.

"It looks like a really big car accident."

Although the crash happened on a straight stretch of road, the local man said it wasn't known for speeding.

Accommodation provider Lynn Robinson was rocked to hear the crash so close to her home was fatal.

"It's just tragic. It's devastating."

She said the crash was just beyond a sharp bend that had only recently had its speed limit reduced to 80km/h because of the high number of smashes over decades.

The stretch of road where it happened was known to be the only place for some distance - north or south - where cars could pass.

"All the fast drivers and trucks know that's the place to pass but it's a blind corner and you've got to time it just right."

Robinson said locals would be on tenterhooks waiting to find out if they knew the dead people.

Robinson was also expecting guests. "I'm waiting for a family of three. I just pray it's not them."