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A witness has described the heartbreaking scenes in Reporoa of seeing a distraught man rush to a woman's car that had crashed in a ditch.
The witness, who did not want to be named but was one of the first on the scene south of Rotorua, said the man took the woman's pulse and said: "She's dead ... She's gone".
The woman, aged in her 30s, died at the scene on Birch Rd, across the road from the intersection with Massey Rd.
Her name has yet to be released by police.
Rotorua police Senior Sergeant Denis Murphy said the car the woman was driving lost control about 8.30pm on Massey Rd and crossed Birch Rd before coming to a stop in a ditch.
Murphy said the Serious Crash Unit was still investigating the circumstances and it was too early to speculate on any causes. He said an inspection of the woman's car was part of the investigation.
Speaking to the Rotorua Daily Post, the witness said her partner was sitting on their deck when he heard a car going around the block, near their house.
"We thought she was going to crash out here [in front of their house] but she kept going. Then we heard it crash."
She said they immediately went to help and a man arrived at the scene in a ute.
"I told him to turn her car off and he was saying 'she's dead ... She's gone' ... It was sad as."
She said the man then rung an ambulance and told them on the phone he thought she had died.
The witness said she ran down the road to try and find the local ambulance driver, but he wasn't home.
"By the time I got back,there were a heap of cars there and people helping."
She said police arrived at the scene quickly.
Tyre marks on Massey Rd showed where the vehicle lost control.
Many of the Reporoa locals spoken to by the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday were either not yet aware of the crash or did not want to comment.
A man who lived about 50m from the intersection said he was watching rugby on television and didn't hear the crash but later noticed all the flashing lights.
A St John spokeswoman said two ambulances were sent to the scene at 8.42pm.
Reporoa school bus driver Dianne Tadema said it always hit home when she heard of young people dying in crashes in Reporoa and she felt saddened reading about the woman's death on Facebook yesterday morning.
She lost her 17-year-old son, James Rameka, 11 years ago on Saturday in a crash near Reporoa that also killed his friend, Phillip Day, 25. Both young men were from Reporoa.
She said although people thought she was doing okay, you never got over something like that.
Last night's crash would be particularly hard for the township after losing 60-year-old local man Ronald Gladding in a crash on Broadlands Rd on January 6, she said.
Five people have died on the roads in the Rotorua region so far this year. Eleven people died on Rotorua roads in 2018.