At about 1:30pm on Friday 15th April 2011 there was a fatal motor vehicle crash on the Desert Road, 27 kilometres south of Turangi.
A Suzuki motor vehicle travelling in a northerly direction has collided with a southbound BMW convertible, causing the BMW to spin and roll coming to rest in the vegetation on the western side of the road.
The Suzuki has then been hit in the passenger side by a southbound Nissan van causing the Suzuki to spin off into the tussock on the eastern side of the road.
The weather conditions at the time of the crash were cloudy and fine, the road was dry. The area of the crash is a rural road surrounded by tussock and broom, the speed limit is 100 km/h.
As a result of the crash, the driver of the Suzuki Malcolm John ANDERSON, 82 years and his passenger / wife Margaret Catherine ANDERSON 76 years, both from Whakatäne, died at the scene from injuries received in the crash.
The driver of the BMW, a 48 year old male from Wänaka, received minor injuries and was treated at Taupö Hospital and released later that night.
A male and female French tourist in the BMW were uninjured and continued their journey south with another motorist.
The driver of the Nissan van, a 28 year old male from Rongotea, was transported to Palmerston North Hospital with moderate injuries.
State Highway 1 was closed for 4 ½ hours to enable the road to be cleared and the vehicles removed.
Ambulances from Waiouru and Turangi attended the scene as well as the Turangi Fire Brigade.
Police inquires into the cause of the crash are continuing.