Two people are dead and two others have been taken to hospital with serious injuries following a multiple vehicle crash at Bankside, just north of the Rakaia River this afternoon.
The crash occurred at around 1.15pm near the intersection of State Highway 1 and Breadings Road.
Police say initial reports indicate that a car travelling south on SH1 veered across the centre line into the path of a north bound vehicle.
The male driver of the south-bound car and the female driver of the north-bound car both died at the scene.
Two females, passengers from each of the two vehicles, were taken to Christchurch Hospital by helicopter with serious injuries.
Three other vehicles were also caught up in the immediate aftermath of the crash, but no other serious injuries were reported.
Weather and road conditions at the time were poor, Police say, but it is not known whether the conditions may have been a factor in the crash.
Diversions have been in place on SH1, and are expected to remain in place until at least 6pm. The police serious crash unit is attending.
No further details are available at this stage.