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Car seats are being credited for limiting the injuries to a baby and a child when the four wheel drive they were in rolled near Taupo yesterday.
Senior Sergeant Fane Troy of the Taupo area road policing group said the crash happened on the East Taupo Arterial just north of the Centennial Drive interchange, about 12pm.
The 25-year-old male driver received serious injuries, while the 25-year female passenger and her two children aged 6 and 1, suffered moderate injuries.
Three rescue helicopters flew them to Waikato Hospital.
Mr Troy said both children were restrained in the vehicle in carseats.
"The injuries sustained by the children could have been worse if they were not restrained. Everyone in the car needs to ensure they wear their safety belts or are in an approved child restraint.
"Seat belts do save lives," he said.
The cause of the crash was being investigated by police.