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.
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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.