Dashcam footage has captured the terrifying moment a truck veered into another and spun out of control on a North Island highway earlier on Friday.
Connor Mitchell and members of his Surf Life Saving team were on their way to a competition in Māhia when they were suddenly called into action.
The group were driving along the Pacific Coast Highway just north of Mōrere when a truck travelling in the opposite direction momentarily went off-road before losing control and veering sharply back onto the road and into the truck.
Dashcam footage shows the truck spinning out of control before finally coming to a stop against a barrier. The truck cab appeared completely destroyed with the driver's door hanging off its hinges, barely attached to the vehicle.
With first aid experience from working as a lifeguard and volunteer firefighter, Mitchell's training kicked in.
He instructed his friend to go and control traffic while he cautiously moved towards the car.
"There was quite a bit of smoke coming out of the vehicle, so main concern was the vehicle catching alight, " he told Newshub.
Mitchell and one of his team members pulled the man out of the vehicle where they administered first aid. The man was initially very concussed, he said, but by the time the paramedics were on scene was able to talk but in a lot of pain.
He said the people in the other truck that was hit weren't injured.
A helicopter arrived to transport the man to hospital around 15 to 20 minutes later, which Mitchell said felt like an eternity.
St John confirmed they were notified of a motor vehicle accident between Gisborne and Wairoa at 8:25am, and had sent an ambulance and helicopter to the scene.
A St John spokesperson said they transported one patient in a serious condition to Hawkes Bay Hospital by helicopter.
A police spokesperson said the two vehicles were towed and diversions were in place throughout the morning.
Mitchell said his team members are all talking as a team and checking in on each other following the incident. He said they were just lucky they all had first aid training to assist the man.
"The competitions really help us become great and better lifeguards," Mitchell said. "It definitely showed us having those skills pays off in day-to-day events."