A 50-year-old driver with leg and chest injuries was flown to Wellington Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter after his car veered across State Highway 1 and crashed into trees north of Waikanae this afternoon.
The crash was at 12.30pm on a straight section of road about one kilometre north of Waikanae, half way between the town and the first bend.
Eye-witnesses are reported as saying the southbound driver,who is from Ohau, slowly veered into the northbound lane and then off the road and down a small bank, crashing into a row of trees.
One witness said a northbound driver had to brake suddenly to avoid the crash.
Drivers following the man stopped and pulled him out of the car after seeking smoke and thinking the car could catch fire, the smoke was apparently from an activated air bag.
SH1 was closed for about 30 minutes.