Police are searching for the occupants of a car that crashed and rolled in the Awakino Gorge yesterday after they took off before emergency services arrived.
The crash was the first of two in wet conditions within an hour.
About 10.40am the car was travelling north through the gorge, about 12km north of Mokau, and failed to take a left hand bend.
Senior Constable Brent Wallcroft, of the highway patrol, said police were searching for the two occupants of the car who had left the scene before police arrived.
"The people in the vehicle had already been picked up and taken away," Mr Wallcroft said.
"We don't know who they are or where they are."
Mr Wallcroft said initial reports were that two people were trapped in the car and the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter was alerted but was stood down.
He said it appeared the driver had lost control, crossed the road and hit a bank.
The car's roof was pushed in, the windscreen was smashed and its front bumper was sitting on the bonnet.
Just under an hour later a north-bound truck crashed just north of the Awakino tunnel.
"He's come around the bend and for some reason he's lost control and gone across the road," Mr Wallcroft said.
The truck ended up in a ditch wedged against a bank and a heavy haulage vehicle was going to be used to pull it free.
The 62-year-old male driver, from Auckland, suffered an injury to his lower back and was treated by St John paramedics at the scene.
No other vehicles were involved in either crash and inquiries into both accidents were continuing.
Mr Wallcroft said drivers needed to take care on wet roads.
"On a wet road drive to the conditions."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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