Two people have been badly hurt in a crash in the Waikato which involved a ute, a car and a cow.
Emergency services were first called at 5.58am to the two-vehicle crash on Waerenga Rd, near Te Kauwhata, a Fire and Emergency NZ shift manager said.
She said a car had hit a cow, and a second car had hit the first car, leaving two people trapped. She was unsure if the cow was deceased.
St John Ambulance said one patient had suffered life-threatening injuries and the second had suffered serious injuries.
The Auckland Westpac Rescue Helicopter was dispatched at 6.15am to the incident, spokesman Lincoln Davies said.
It was believed the driver of a ute had hit a cow before colliding with the car, Davies said.
The man driving the car, who was in his 40s, was left in a critical condition and was flown to Waikato Hospital.
The second patient was also taken to Waikato Hospital, an ambulance spokesperson said.
Police arrived on scene just before 6.30am.
Senior Sergeant Andrew O'Reilly told the Herald the Serious Crash Unit was investigating, and the road was closed but the area was isolated so not many motorists would be affected, he said.
Diversions are in place at the intersection of Stannard and Cozen Rds and the intersection of Waerenga and Taniwha Rds.
Motorists are advised to avoid the area.