At least four people were taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries after three separate crashes in Hawke's Bay yesterday.
They included a woman who was flown to Hawke's Bay Hospital by the Lowe Corporation rescue helicopter with suspected neck and back injuries after a family vehicle rolled several times on the Napier-Wairoa highway.
Four people were in the vehicle when the crash happened 2km north of Putorino, about 12.45pm.
The woman, aged 34, was trapped in the vehicle and had to be cut free by members of the Putorino Rural Fire Force. Police closed the highway for a short time to allow the rescue helicopter to land, and later reduced the stretch to one lane as the scene was cleared.
The vehicle, being driven by the woman's husband, appeared to have crossed the centreline and got into difficulties on the wrong side of the road and crashed. It avoided a possible head-on crash with an oncoming truck by just a few seconds. Two children were also in the vehicle, which was thought to be travelling to Gisborne.
A 77-year-old Havelock North man escaped serious injury after the late-model BMW wagon he was driving veered across a busy Napier arterial road and hit two trees about 2pm yesterday. The vehicle was northbound when the crash happened on the Latham St to Kennedy Rd stretch of Georges Drive.
No other vehicles were involved. A witness, driving ahead of the car and seeing the events via a rear-view mirror, told police the vehicle went to the wrong side of the road, deflected off one tree and crashed head-on into another, on the eastern grass verge.
Protected by air bags, the man was freed from the vehicle as steam billowed across the area. He managed to walk to an ambulance.
Two people were taken to hospital last night after their vehicles collided at a crossroads between Napier and Hastings.
The crash happened at the intersection of Brookfields and Gilbertson roads about 5.30pm.
The people were out of their vehicles and being treated by St John Ambulance crews when firefighters arrived.