A mother and her two children are dead – and a teenage relative is seriously injured – after her car passed a traffic signal and entered the path of a ute near Ashburton.
The three deaths have raised the toll on New Zealand's roads in the past eight days to 20 – and the total for the previous 100 years.
Emergency services were called in for the accident at the intersection of Mitcham Rd and Hepburns Rd, north of Ashburton, shortly after 10am on Monday.
Inspector Dave Gaskin, of the Mid-South Canterbury area, said his mother, his two children, and the severely injured family member were traveling in a Holden Astra northward along Hepburns Rd. .
CONSULT MORE INFORMATION:
* Eight killed in two accidents, including five members of a family
* The man dies after the vehicle enters the water near Auckland Airport
The other vehicle, a white Ford Ranger, was heading west along Mitcham Rd and collided with the other vehicle.
New Zealand Police
Deputy Commissioner of Road Safety and Policing, Sandra Venables, said people should be careful when driving after nine people died on New Zealand roads in one day.
Senior sergeant Matt Emery said the 30-year-old mother from Ashburton, along with her young daughter and her baby son, died in the accident.
Both children were in the back of the car, in elevators, while the teenager was in the front passenger seat.
"It is an absolute tragedy to lose three lives, especially after the five to the north [near Taupō earlier on Monday]"Said Emery.
The accident has similarities to one at a rural Canterbury Mid junction in May 2014, which cost three lives. Sally Rumble, her daughter Ella Summerfield, 12, and her daughter's friend Abigail "Abi" Hone, 12, died after the car driven by tourist Johannes Appelman did not relent and hit the left side of his vehicle on the Thompsons Track near Ashburton . The two scenes are separated by about 20 km.
Emery said the weather was fine, clear and sunny and did not seem to be a factor in the accident.
Six other people also died on New Zealand roads on Monday.
Five members of the same family were killed when a vehicle allegedly hit a tree north of Taupō.
Police also confirmed that a man died after his car fell into the water near Auckland airport on Monday morning.
Deputy Commissioner for Road Policing and Prevention, Sandra Venables, said Monday was a "tragic day" on the country's roads.
"Together with NZTA [NZ Transport Agency]The New Zealand Police would like to urge you to please, take care of our roads, lead to conditions, ensure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt and do not get distracted, "said Venables.
"Speed is also something we should be trying to reduce to make sure everyone gets home and arrives safely."
Ashburton's mayor, Donna Favel, said roadblocks at the intersection had been renewed in recent months.
The council had records of accidents at that intersection between 2013 and 2016, although none of them caused serious injuries.
"With any fatality, we always look at the role that the board had to play in it, if any, and if anything is found, we will correct it as soon as possible."
Favel said it was devastating when someone died on the road and "particularly devastating to be part of what appears to be one of the darkest days of New Zealand roads."
A resident of Hepburns Rd, who declined to be identified, said she had always been cautious at the intersection.
There was a manhole raised to an irrigation ditch on Mitcham Rd, south of the junction, which needed to be removed, she said, because "it's quite high and you can not see the way."
The villager said there was also a large macrocarpa cover on Mitcham Rd, which sometimes shaded the road and made it difficult for dark cars to arrive.
The resident said she drove very carefully at the intersection because the cars on Mitcham Rd were going so fast. "If you do not see a car coming up, you're history."
One resident near Mitcham Rd, who declined to be named, said she was hoping something like that would happen at the intersection because of "the way people shout up and down." [Mitcham Rd]"
She said she heard a "humunful crash" and crossed a picket as far as she could see the consequences of the accident in the distance.
St. John's spokesman Gerard Campbell said two ambulances and a Christchurch rescue helicopter were sent to the scene.
He said two people were initially taken to Ashburton Hospital by ambulance. It was believed that a person died on the way.
Campbell said the teenager was taken from Ashburton Hospital to Christchurch Hospital and another person with minor injuries was taken to Ashburton Hospital.
Fire and Emergency spokesman Andrew Norris said two teams from Ashburton were in the accident.
A rescue team cut a person in one of the cars, he said.
The serious police collision unit was investigating the accident.