A mother duck and her ducklings were behind a serious crash near Wanaka Airport on Thursday evening.
Luggate Volunteer Fire Brigade chief fire officer Rod Anderson, who attended the crash on State Highway 6 at about 4pm, said yesterday one car, heading in the direction of Cromwell, stopped for the ducks while they crossed the road.
A second car crashed into the rear of the stopped vehicle and then veered into the path of a third car, a rental car travelling to Wanaka.
St John New Zealand communications adviser Gerard Campbell said one patient with serious injuries and one with moderate injuries were taken to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter.
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The highway was closed for about three hours.
''It was very, very lucky no-one was killed,'' Anderson said.
It was the second time in the last two or three months when ducks and ducklings had caused a crash in his area.
Previously, a car which stopped for ducks near Queensberry was hit by a light truck.
No-one was injured on that occasion.