Three best friends aged in their early 20s died after their car burst into flames when it crashed into the back of a large truck and trailer parked on the side of the road.
As a result of the collision on Cambridge St in Levin, the car exploded into flames, engulfing the car and the truck at 12.20am.
Police said the occupants of the vehicle died as a result. Nobody was in the truck.
Police said they were working to confirm how many people were in the car at the time of the crash.
But the Herald understands three young men were inside, including two who had been friends for several years and the brother of one of the men.
They all lived locally.
It is not yet known where they were heading or who was driving but the owner of the car has been described as a "really nice guy" who was well-liked by the company he worked for.
Family were called by police overnight and arrived at the scene to see the road blocked by police, and the car wedged under the truck, covered by a tarpaulin.
Central fire communications shift manager Mike Wanoa said the incident was initially reported as a rescue so they sent two crews.
When it became evident there was a fire they sent two more crews and put the fire out.
Levin residents reported hearing an explosion at the time of the collision.
The Police Serious Crash Unit and other specialist staff are in attendance and the cause of the crash is being investigated.
A car also crashed in Otorohanga around 5.30am this morning.
The car rolled on State Highway 3 and blocked the northbound lane. No one was injured and the vehicle is now off the road.