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One dead in car and tourist bus crash near Kingston

One person is dead and 10 injured after a crash between a car and a tourist bus near Kingston in the South Island this morning.

Police confirmed one person died in the crash after the the two vehicles collided about 7.20am on State Highway 6.

Police said the person who died was a passenger in the car.

Another person, believed to be the driver of the car, was critically injured.

The Otago Daily Times has been told the driver of the car was passing a truck when the collision happened.

The collision reportedly happened next to the truck's driver door.

A St John spokesman said one patient had suffered critical injuries, three moderate injuries and six minor injuries.

The patient with critical injuries, believed to be the driver of the car, was being transported to Dunedin Hospital by helicopter.

A helicopter was on the scene as of about 8am and left just after 9am.

Otago Lakes-Central area commander Inspector Olaf Jensen said the car was heading north when it collided with the bus heading south.

Police were yet to identify the passengers and it was "too early" to determine the cause, Insp Jansen said.

Asked about the stretch of road, where one person was killed two weeks ago when a bus collided with a car, he stressed the importance of "driving to the conditions" on what was a busy tourist highway.

The bus ended up off the road, beside the south-bound lane, near the brow of a small hill. It is upright, but on a lean.

There were multiple emergency services at the scene in the aftermath of the crash, including at least six police cars, two fire engines and ambulances. A helicopter was sitting on road at the scene before it took off after 9am.

The crash was believed to be about 5km south of Kingston where traffic was backed up.

NZ Transport Agency said SH6 at the intersection with Allandale Rd was reopened to one lane after 10.30am.

Stop/go traffic management was in place and motorists were warned to expect "significant delays".

A worker from Kingston Corner Cafe and Bar, which sits on State Highway 6, said staff noticed police and fire engines with sirens and lights on at 7.55am. They were heading southbound from Kingston, the worker said.

- This article first appeared on the Otago Daily Times.
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