Waikato Police say a crash that claimed the lives of three overseas visitors west of Hamilton overnight is the subject of a number of investigations as agencies work to confirm what occurred and ways to prevent further loss of life.
Acting District Road Policing Manager, Inspector Jeff Penno, said an off-duty policeman on his way home was the first person to come across the crash at the intersection of SH39 (Kakaramea Rd) and Tuhikaramea Rd.
"That officer raised the alarm and began administering first aid until the arrival of paramedics. The crash is currently being investigated by a raft of teams including the Serious Crash and Commercial Vehicle Investigation Units who are working to confirm what has occurred.
"Initial indications are that a blue Toyota Highlander car with four persons onboard heading north on SH39 has turned right, across the path of a southbound truck and trailer unit, at the intersection with Tuhikaramea Rd."
Mr Penno said three of the four persons in the car lost their lives in the crash.
"On behalf of the NZ Police I would like to extend our sympathies to the families of US citizens husband and wife, Ruth-Ann and Mitchell PETERSON of Monroe in Utah and Tamara Garlick BARNETT of Richfield which is also in Utah.
"The 56-year-old male driver, who was travelling with Mrs Barnett, was taken to Waikato Hospital by ambulance with moderate injuries. The driver of the truck was understandably shaken by his ordeal but uninjured in the crash."
Waikato Police are working with a local church and US Consular officials to provide the family of the deceased as much support as possible.
Victim Support are assisting both drivers involved in the crash.