Police have named the four Argentinian men killed when their car ploughed head-on into and under a truck near National Park, in the central North Island.
The men had been working in the tourism industry and were returning from playing indoor soccer in Ohakune to their backpackers at National Park on Wednesday night when they pulled out to overtake a truck just north of the Makatote Viaduct and collided with a truck coming the other way.
The truck went right over their Holden Commodore, dragging it for some distance and the four men died at the scene. Two were thrown from the car.
The men, named on Thursday afternoon, were Agustin Donofrio, 25, German Caceres, 35, Nicolas Ursic, 27, and Luciano Pucheta, 19.
A fifth man in the car, Chilean man Benjamin Blake, believed to be in his mid 20s, survived the carnage and is in a serious but stable condition in Waikato Hospital.
The truck driver was uninjured.
"I would say it's up there with amongst the worst that I would have encountered in my 32 years in the police," said Ruapehu police area commander Inspector Steve Mastrovich.
He said investigations are continuing in order to identify any factors that contributed to the crash.
It was not known how long the men had been in New Zealand or whether they were living here.
The crash comes after the deaths in May of three American students, who were part of a group heading to the Tongariro Alpine Crossing from Auckland, when the driver or their minivan lost control and crashed near Turangi.Last month Stephen Houseman, 20, who was driving the minivan, was convicted on seven charges relating to the crash and disqualified from driving for six months.
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