A forestry worker survived 11 hours with serious injuries
after his four-wheel-drive ute plunged off the road on the
East Coast on Tuesday night.
Emergency services were alerted about 10.50am yesterday after
the man was found near the accident scene on State Highway 35
north of Tolaga Bay.
"The accident appears to have happened at about midnight
Tuesday when the Gisborne man was on his way home from work,"
said Constable Richard Reeves.
His vehicle went through a fence and plunged five metres down
a bank, coming to rest in a stream.
"He spent the night in the truck. It's not clear yet whether
he was unconscious or conscious. We haven't had a chance to
interview him yet," Mr Reeves said.
The 39-year-old crawled out of his vehicle yesterday morning
and crawled up the bank to the highway.
"Someone coming out of Kaiaua Road in a vehicle heard him
calling out for help and called emergency services."
The passer-by and people from a nearby house looked after him
until further help arrived.
The man had suffered serious injuries to his shoulders, chest
Mr Reeves was the first of the emergency services personnel
to arrive at the scene.
"He was in a lot of pain when I got there. He was in shock
and was quite dehydrated."
The ECT rescue helicopter flew the man to Gisborne Hospital.
He was admitted to the intensive care ward overnight and
moved to a ward today.
He is in a stable condition.
Mr Reeves said there were no skid marks on the road, so it
appeared no other vehicle was involved.
"It appears his vehicle just veered off the road for some
The man was very lucky, he said.
"If the stream had been running higher, he could have
"You cannot see where the four-by-four landed from the road,
so it's also fortunate he was able to get himself out and up