An American man killed in a car crash near Waitomo Caves while on a honeymoon with his wife has been named.
He was 31-year-old Kenneth Stithem. His 28-year-old wife, Kirsten Steinke, remains in a critical condition in intensive care at Waikato Hospital where she will have surgery.
The couple, understood to be from New Jersey, had married just a week ago in the United States and were holidaying in New Zealand.
Steinke works at the University of Colorado in Boulder as a communications manager, and her boss Jeremy Simon offered his condolences to the couple's family this morning.
"The thoughts and prayers of all of us here at the foundation are certainly with Kirsten and her family and Callan's family," he told ONE News.
It is understood the couple spent Wednesday blackwater rafting and joking with the chef at Curly's Bar in Waitomo.
Police said they overtook a stationary green vehicle on the left-hand side on Waitomo Caves Rd that was giving way at the intersection, and then turned right towards Te Kuiti into the path of the northbound truck about 9.20am.
A witness to the crash told ONE News that there was "bugger all" they could do.
"The car wasn't in a good way. It was smacked up like a tin can&We had to wait for an ambulance or a fire truck to come cut them out because the car was just mangled," they said.
Stithem was killed instantly and his wife was cut out of the car by fire crews before being taken to Waikato Hospital by air ambulance.
The pair's family have been notified, but police could not say whether they were on their way to New Zealand.
The chef at Curly's Bar, Bridget Brown, is shocked by the accident, after having met the couple on Wednesday evening.
"They joked about how each year they put a map on the table and a member of the family gets to pick a destination and this year it was the wife who chose New Zealand - the next morning they crashed into a truck."
The intersection is a busy one, used by motorists visiting the Waitomo Caves village, and locals, including Brown, regard it as an accident black spot.
Earlier this year a Canadian tourist died when her campervan hit a truck at the same intersection.
Ross O'Halloran, a tour guide at The Legendary Blackwater Rafting Company, uses the intersection a dozen times a week, driving to work from his Te Kuiti home.
"You take your life in your own hands every time you pull out of there," he said. "It's a dangerous intersection. You really have to give it some stick to get out of there to get in with the traffic.
"People go on about how it is tourists, they sometimes end up on the other side of the road, but the locals don't slow down," O'Halloran said.
Work to improve visibility at the intersection was carried out last summer and the New Zealand Transport Authority has confirmed more work is scheduled for December.
US embassy spokesman David Edginton expressed deepest condolences to the honeymooners' family and friends.
He said consular officers from Auckland were in contact with the families and were providing assistance.
Police were asking for the driver of the green vehicle to make
contact, along with anyone else who may have witnessed the