A 26-year-old Gisborne woman is in a critical condition in hospital after her car plunged 15m off the road into a Bay of Plenty river yesterday.
The car, with two children on-board, left the road, flipped and landed in the Waioeka River.
A member of the public alerted police to the crash from a property near the crash site around 11am.
The woman in the car was knocked unconscious and was temporarily trapped in the partially submerged car.
She was freed by emergency services and is now at Tauranga Hospital in a critical condition.
The two children, aged 8 and 4, were in a "comfortable condition" at Tauranga Hospital, a spokesman said.
Rescue helicopters were hampered by poor weather, and were diverted to Opotiki Airfield.
The victims were rope-lifted from the riverbed by emergency services, taken by ambulance to Opotiki and flown to hospital from there.