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A woman crawled 60 metres up a steep bank after crashing off the road in driving rain this morning.
The 43-year-old managed to clamber from the wrecked vehicle near Raupunga in Hawkes Bay at about 9.30am.
With bad back injuries, she then managed to scramble back up the steep, wet bank to flag down a passing car for help.
An ambulance from Wairoa, 25 minutes away, arrived to treat her at the scene for moderate to serious back injuries.
She was taken to nearby Raupunga rugby grounds helicopter landing pad site before the Lowe Corporation Rescue Helicopter airlifted her to Hawke's Bay Regional Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said her injuries were still being assessed in the emergency department.
Stephen Smith, Hawke's Bay districts operations manager, said the woman had been travelling from Gisborne to Hawke's Bay when she went off the road.
He said it had been raining solidly since last night and road conditions "weren't the best".