The deaths of three people in a horror crash on the Desert Road this week brings the number of people killed on roads in the Taupo area to five in just 11 days.

Police today named the third person killed in Monday's crash as Arshpreet Kaur Sidhu, a 23-year-old in New Zealand on a working visa. She was travelling in the back seat of the car.

Also killed were Monalisa Alofaifo, a 20-year-old Samoan woman with New Zealand residency, and Twinkle Ansal, a 21-year-old Indian man in New Zealand on a student visa.

The driver, a 21-year-old Indian man in New Zealand on a working visa, is still in Waikato Hospital's intensive care unit in a critical condition.


The car the four were in collided with a truck approaching a 65km/h bend on State Highway 1 at Rangipo in the Central Plateau. The truck driver was shaken but unharmed.

The deaths came less than a fortnight after Tokoroa brothers Thor Tamanui Sullivan, 16, and Hape Raroa Sullivan, 18, died in a crash on Tirohanga Rd north of Taupo.

Senior Sergeant Fane Troy said the five deaths in a short timeframe highlighted the need to be aware of road conditions and drive accordingly.

Speed was believed to be a factor in the Tirohanga crash, and police were investigating whether driving too fast for the conditions was a factor in Monday's crash.

The deaths bring the road toll in the Taupo area - which stretches from the Desert Road through to South Waikato - to nine this year.

The road toll for the Taupo area for all of 2015 was 24 and at the same time last year there had been 11 deaths on roads in the area.

For the Bay of Plenty policing district, which Taupo is a part of, the road toll so far this year stands at 18 compared to 29 at the same time in 2015.

■ Nine people dead on roads in the Taupo policing area this year.
■ Total road toll for Taupo policing area for 2015 was 24.
■ Bay of Plenty road toll so far is 18 compared to 29 the same time in 2015.