Three people who died in a collision just south of Wanaka this afternoon were foreign nationals, police have confirmed.
The male driver and two of his female passengers were killed when their van collided with a truck at the intersection of State Highway 6 and Shortcut Road about 4.30pm.
A fourth passenger was taken by helicopter to Dunedin Hospital, but the extent of his injuries is not known.
The truck driver escaped uninjured, but is described as shaken.
Wanaka fire brigade senior station officer Warren Bates said the crash was one of the worst that he had seen.
Mr Bates said firefighters who had to deal with the crash were in good spirits, but he was thankful they did not have to deal with crashes like this all of the time.
A detour is in place on the road, which is the main route into Wanaka from the south, and is likely to remain in place until late tonight.