Police say alcohol and speed were factors in a two-car crash last night in Auckland that killed the mother of two little girls.
Rebecca Todd died as rescuers tried to free her from the wreckage of her car.
Her daughters, aged five and seven, were flown to Auckland Hospital. The five year old has had surgery for her serious injuries and is now in a critical but stable condition. Her seven-year-old sister is in a stable condition.
Police say they expect to lay charges against the driver of the other car, which appeared to have crossed the centre line into the path of Todd's car.
The accident happened at about 7.30pm in Waimauku.
Police said speed and alcohol were factors in the collision and warned drivers to be careful over the Christmas holidays.
"It appears that this stage, indications are that this is a preventable crash, which is disappointing four days out from Christmas," said Sergeant John Roberts.
"I would implore people to take extra care with alcohol consumption, speed and time to destination," he said.
Roberts had some advice for holiday motorists.
"Take your time, make sure you have a sober driver, watch your speed and don't rush, it's as simple as that.
"Allow extra time, you've got a precious cargo on board and it's too tough. You'll be spoiling every Christmas from here on if something should happen."
Police have already begun a campaign targetting drivers going more than 4km/h over the speed limit.