Boy in stable condition after eight killed in head-on collision near Taupō

A nine-year-old boy is in a stable condition in Waikato hospital following a horror crash which killed eight people at the weekend.

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    The two vehicles collided in Atiamuri, leaving a scene of utter devastation. Source: 1 NEWS

    The two-vehicle crash happened at Atiamuri, between Taupō and Rotorua on Sunday morning.

    An SUV and a van collided head-on on State Highway One near Ohakuri Road in wet conditions at around 10.30am.

    Police say the driver of the SUV, who was the sole occupant of that vehicle, and the driver and six passengers in the van were killed. 

    One passenger in the van, a child, was critically injured and was airlifted to Waikato Hospital.

    A Greenlea Rescue Helicopters pilot told 1 NEWS he flew a nine-year-old child from Tokoroa Hospital to Waikato Hospital following the crash.

    A significant amount of debris was strewn all over the road.

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      Inspector Brent Crowe speaks near the scene where an SUV and a van collided, causing multiple fatalities. Source: 1 NEWS

      The Disaster Victim Identification team was called in to assist with the investigation, police said earlier this afternoon.

      St John Ambulance said two ambulances were in attendance.

      Police Inspector Brent Crowe told 1 NEWS at the scene it appears one of the vehicles crossed to the incorrect side of the road on a moderate left hand bend. Road conditions were wet at the time, he said.

      "To describe the scene as a complete tragedy would be an understatement," he said.

      Earlier this month five people were killed just a short drive down the road. 

      And this latest crash brings the Taupō-South Waikato April road toll to 14, just two behind the total for all of last year.

      The message from police remains the same - drive to the conditions - as the  last day of the school holidays comes to a tragic end.