The family of a driver thrown from his vehicle in a serious crash have flown from Australia to be by his side.
Glen Hutchings, 38, is in an induced coma at Wellington Hospital's intensive care unit with serious head and leg injuries.
His four-wheel-drive crashed through a farm fence on Kokotau Rd near Carterton at 6.50pm on Tuesday.
Emergency workers say the father of three may have been thrown out of the sunroof or rear windscreen as the vehicle rolled several times before landing on its side in a paddock.
Yesterday Mr Hutchings' sister, Katrina Moss, said family had rushed to be by his side, including two of his daughters and his ex-wife, who flew in from Sydney late last night.
His mother, Bev, is also with him, with doctors yet to determine the extent of his head injury.
"We're just waiting and hoping at the moment. It's going to be five days until they can assess it."
Originally from Wairarapa, Mr Hutchings moved to Australia when he was 21.
He returned last week to help work on the family farm, and was returning from getting chainsaw oil when he crashed, Ms Moss said.
Seeing what they thought was smoke, she and their mother had rushed over.
"They wouldn't let us anywhere near him - that was really hard, not being able to see him."
Her younger brother, who works in construction, was a "big joker", she said.
"He's got a massive heart of gold. He can annoy the crap out of you but you can't help but love him, and he absolutely adores his kids."
Yesterday Mr Hutchings was due for surgery, with steel rods to be inserted in his leg, and his hip to be rebuilt.
Carterton fire chief Wayne Robinson said Mr Hutchings was "most likely" thrown out of the 4WD's sunroof.
"The vehicle was pretty badly damaged, there was debris, windscreens and bits of car scattered over about a 20-to-30-square-metre area."
It looked as if the car had lost traction on a corner, he said.
Sergeant Chris Megaw said it appeared Mr Hutchings had not been wearing a seatbelt. Police were appealing for witnesses to the crash.
- The Dominion Post