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Emergency services were called to the scene of a crash near Frew Rd, Herbert, at 12.17pm on Sunday.
Sergeant Blair Wilkinson, of Oamaru, said five people, a Dunedin family travelling in a Hyundai car, were flown to hospital by rescue helicopter. The parents’ and three young children’s injuries ranged from serious to moderate.
The male driver of the other vehicle, a courier ute towing a trailer, was taken to Oamaru Hospital by ambulance.
Sgt Wilkinson said the ute, travelling north, was witnessed crossing the centre line multiple times before crashing head-on with the Hyundai.
Despite strong winds throughout Otago on Sunday, police believed the crash was not weather-related, Sgt Wilkinson said.
Inquiries were continuing.