Horror Rotorua crash: 'You knew it was high impact'

Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo: NZME.
Emergency services at the scene of the crash. Photo: NZME.

Witnesses heard the loud bang of a crash in Rotorua last night in which four people were injured, with one man currently in ICU.

Police said the crash happened on Pukuatua St outside Trade Central at 5.55pm.

This morning, a 30-year-old man was in a critical condition in intensive care and a 40-year-old man was in a stable condition in a hospital ward, according to a Lakes District Health Board spokeswoman.

A 40-year-old woman and a male in his late teens were both in a stable condition and held at the hospital for observation, the spokeswoman said.

A reporter at the scene yesterday said one of the vehicles was "completely crumpled" and the roof had been cut off by emergency services.

Two Kahukura rugby team players who did not want to be named said they heard the bang from the nearby rugby field.

"You knew it was something and you knew it was high impact," one said.

Team members tried to open one of the vehicle's doors but could not.

A police media spokeswoman said the road was blocked and was closed while the serious crash unit investigated. It has since been reopened.

A St John ambulance media spokeswoman said four ambulances were sent to the crash.

Two people in critical condition, one person in moderate condition and one person in minor condition were transported to Rotorua Hospital, the spokeswoman said.

Fire Communications shift manager Murray Bannister said three fire crews attended.

He said one person had to be freed from one of the vehicles.

A woman who lived nearby said she heard the "loud bang" and went out to see the crash.

She stood and watched on as a person was secured on a stretcher.

A man who drove into Kmart said when he came out from the shopping centre he was shocked to see the crash.