Hawke's Bay driver goes airborne, lands vehicle in fruit crates 10m above ground after fleeing police

An airborne vehicle became lodged 10 metres above the ground in a pile of fruit crates overnight after a high-speed escape from police in Hastings.

The car was spotted driving at speed on the wrong side of Karamu Rd in the early hours of Sunday morning, a police spokesperson told Newshub. The driver failed to stop for police shortly before 12:30am and fled down Kenilworth Rd in Mayfair. 

After hitting gravel at the base of railway lines, the vehicle became airborne and soared over a fence, the spokesperson said. It then crashed into an orchard's stack of fruit bins, landing about 10 metres above the ground.

The spokesperson said despite the driver's high-speed retreat from police, officers had not been pursuing the vehicle.

Fire and Emergency New Zealand staff helped to extricate the male driver from the car, who was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital with serious injuries. The serious crash unit also attended.

Local resident Kristy Hall told the New Zealand Herald she heard the speeding car collide with the fruit bins after it raced past her home.

"My initial thoughts were filled with fear that they would be pulling a body from that car," she told the outlet.

She said she believes the driver did not have his headlights on and was unaware the road came to a dead-end.

"From the reaction time, it was far too late once he realised," Hall told the Herald.

The circumstances of the incident are currently under investigation, the spokesperson said.