One person has died in an early morning crash in Western Bay of Plenty.

A car and truck collided on Pyes Pa Rd between Tauranga and Rotorua shortly before 4am, a Fire and Emergency spokesman said.

Head of Western Bay of Plenty road policing Senior Sergeant Mark Pakes said a crane was needed to pick the damaged truck up before it could be removed from the crash scene, between TECT All Terrain Park and the Ngawaro Gorge.

A crane is needed to right the truck after the crash. Photo / George Novak
A crane is needed to right the truck after the crash. Photo / George Novak

The road was closed for several hours, only reopening at 1.20pm.

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Pakes said the truck was unable to be towed due to significant damage to its front.

The driver of the truck had been taken to Tauranga Hospital but it was not yet clear how seriously they had been hurt. The person killed had been driving the car.

Pakes said officers were still trying to locate and notify next of kin.

Diversions remained in place and motorists were asked to take alternative routes where possible.

The Serious Crash Unit was investigating.

The NZ Transport Agency said State Highway 36 between Tauranga to Rotorua was closed between Pyes Pa Rd roundabout and Hamurana Rd, Ngongotaha.