Picton crash: What you need to know about the State Highway 1 closure

A baby is among those killed in Sunday's crash south of Picton.

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

A baby is among those killed in Sunday’s crash south of Picton.

State Highway 1 south of Picton is expected to open later Sunday afternoon following a crash that killed seven people, including a baby.

In a media stand-up, police confirmed the road would soon be open, after being closed for most of Sunday due to a crash involving two vehicles.

Police say the closure is to allow emergency services to operate, and it is likely to remain closed for most of the day.

A detour was available via State Highway 6 and Queen Charlotte Drive which would make the journey between Picton and Blenheim approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes.

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Waka Kotahi said Queen Charlotte Drive was fine for light traffic, but he did not recommend motorists use that route.

Delayed ferry departures

Ferries have also been hit by the Aratere and Kaitaki Interislander crossings from Picton adjusting their schedules to give passengers more time to reach the ferry terminal via the alternative route.

An alternate route is State Highway 6 and Queen Charlotte Drive, but Waka Kotahi does not recommend this as a detour.

BRYA INGRAM/STUFF

An alternate route is State Highway 6 and Queen Charlotte Drive, but Waka Kotahi does not recommend this as a detour.

“We are working closely with our customers booked on the ferries today to advise them of the road closure,” said Walter Rushbrook, Executive Managing Director of KiwiRail Interislander.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and will notify guests booked for Kaitaki Sailing this afternoon that it will depart closer to time.

“We are also working to reschedule any customers who will miss these crossings.”

The accident, between a van and a truck, is the worst to occur in the South Island for more than two decades.

It happened on State Highway 1 near Mt Pleasant, between Blenheim and Picton.

Seven people from the same family were killed, including a baby. Three other people were injured, one of them in critical condition.

The driver of the truck was slightly injured.