Newshub has obtained dramatic CCTV vision showing a horror crash on Dominion Rd in Mt Eden, one of Auckland's busiest, on Friday night.
Within two seconds four cars became mangled wrecks, leaving an 11-year-old girl and a 35-year-old woman fighting for their lives.
The video shows just how quickly things can go terribly wrong. You can see one car slows down at a stop sign intersection, and a people-mover van speeding quickly behind it.
The van hits with such force that both vehicles are sent flying onto the main road into a third car - and then a fourth.
The aftermath looks like the scene of high-speed crash you'd see on a state highway. Emergency services say the jaws of life were needed to get some passengers out.
"There was a lot of entrapment so we had to open up the vehicles, take the roof off a couple of vehicles in order to extricate them safely," a St Johns spokesperson told Newshub.
The force of the impact was so violent it was a miracle that no one was killed.
Five people were taken to the hospital - two in a critical condition, and three others moderately injured. Four others were treated at the scene.
One witness told Newshub that it was the worst urban accident he had ever seen in his life.
He said devastation lay in the wake of the smash, including torn vehicles, leaving "nothing left" of one car which had its back ripped off.
Local worker Raymond Chan was around the corner at the time. He ran out to help, and was shocked by the horrific scene.
"I hear people crying from other cars and people screaming for help," he told Newshub.
Chan says there was broken glass and debris strewn across the road. He diverted traffic and then tried to help a couple trapped in their car.
"There was a lady already unconscious and the door was like almost squeezing on her," he says
"I tried to get it open but I can't because it's too damaged."
An 11-year-old girl and a 35-year-old woman remain in a critical condition and police are now trying to piece together exactly what happened.