Onlookers were horrified on Friday afternoon after a rental car attempted to overtake a petrol tanker on the narrow Rimutaka Hill Rd.
The tanker was climbing up the hill when the white vehicle pulled out to pass.
But half way into the move it couldn't get ahead of the tanker as an oncoming vehicle came around the bend.
Mark Gluyas, the driver who caught footage of the pass on his dashcam, says he thought he was going to die.
Speaking to Newshub he said when it happened he was worried things could become fiery if the vehicles collided.
"There could have been an explosion," Mr Gluyas told Newshub. "That [tanker was] full of petrol"
After coming close to a collision the rental vehicle pulled back safely into its lane and passed the tanker later on.
Police have been advised of the incident.