One person has died and another ten are injured after a van collided with a truck on State Highway 5, near Tarawera, on Monday morning.
Emergency services were responding to the two-vehicle collision on SH5, between Tataraakina Rd and Pohukura Rd, about 9.52am on Monday.
Police said the crash, outside the Tarawera Café, involved a van and a truck.
A St John Ambulance spokeswoman said one person has died and another ten people were injured.
The St John Ambulance spokeswoman said five people were transported to Hawke's Bay Hospital - one critically injured was airlifted and one serious and three moderate taken by ambulance.
One person in a critical condition was airlifted to Gisborne Hospital, while one person in serious condition and one person in moderate condition were airlifted to Palmerston North Hospital.
Another person in a serious condition and one person in moderate condition were transported to Taupo Hospital by ambulance.
The road is blocked and has been closed from both the Napier and Taupō ends. Police said it would remain closed for some time.
Hawke's Bay Police senior constable and serious crash analyst Tim Rowe confirmed one person died at the scene.
The driver of the truck was uninjured.
Rowe said the cause of the crash was most likely a "momentary lapse in concentration".
He said three vans of workers were travelling north at the time of the crash. One had pulled over to the left of the road, then turned right to get into Tarawera Café and a truck travelling north couldn't avoid them.
A Tarawera Café spokesman said the crash involved a truck carting wine and a van carrying workers who had just called into the cafe.
The truck and van careened off the road and down a bank after the collision.
Wine was leaking from the truck.
St John paramedics at the tragedy this morning. Photo Paul Taylor
A Fire and Emergency New Zealand spokesman said three fire trucks – two from Napier and one from Bay View – are en route to the crash.
A St John Ambulance spokesman said they were notified of the crash at 9.52am and had sent three helicopters, four ambulances and a St John manager in a rapid response vehicle.
Three further helicopters were also on stand-by.
Motorists are asked to avoid the area.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.