A person has been killed and another seriously injured in a crash that shut down a popular rural highway between Rotorua and Taupō yesterday afternoon.

The collision happened on a straight stretch of Broadlands Rd, 300m north of the intersection with East Rd, near Reporoa.

Emergency services including rescue helicopters were called to the crash at 4.05pm.

One driver died at the scene.

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Police at the scene of a cordon on Broadlands Rd, where a person was killed in a crash. Photo / Ben Fraser
Police at the scene of a cordon on Broadlands Rd, where a person was killed in a crash. Photo / Ben Fraser

Fire and Emergency northern communications shift manager Paul Radden said firefighters worked to free a motorist who was trapped in the other car.

A St John ambulance spokeswoman said that person was taken by road to Rotorua Hospital in a serious condition.

Earlier yesterday afternoon there was a two-car crash on State Highway 1 near Tokoroa.

One person was taken to Tokoroa Hospital in a moderate condition. The southbound lane was blocked but reopened 40 minutes later.

The death came after a horror road toll for the Rotorua and Taupō regions in 2018.

Eleven people lost their lives on Rotorua roads, and 15 in Taupō.

 The collision happened on a straight stretch of Broadlands Rd, 300m north of the intersection with East Rd, near Reporoa. Photo / Ben Fraser
The collision happened on a straight stretch of Broadlands Rd, 300m north of the intersection with East Rd, near Reporoa. Photo / Ben Fraser

Rotorua's road toll nearly tripled from just four deaths in 2017 to the highest it had been for several years.

Yesterday's was not the first life lost on Broadlands Rd, a popular rural route for locals keen to avoid traffic and congestion on State Highway 5.

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In April 2017, 77-year-old Malcolm Furgus Gillanders-Ryan, a former engineer, was driving home when he crossed the centre line and collided with an oncoming vehicle.

He died from a head injury. The other driver survived.

Emergency services at the scene of a serious crash on Broadlands Rd between Rotorua and Taupō. Photo /Ben Fraser
Emergency services at the scene of a serious crash on Broadlands Rd between Rotorua and Taupō. Photo /Ben Fraser

Two months later, a man died after the vehicle he was driving hit a bank and rolled. The crash happened on the stretch of country road near White Rd.

Meanwhile, the national 2018 road toll rose to 382 following the death of a passenger in a crash last month.

The 29-year-old man died at Wellington Regional Hospital on Saturday after being seriously injured in a car crash on December 20 in Nelson.

- Additional reporting Shauni James