An 84-year-old man has died after he was thrown from his car in a freak accident at a Western Bay rubbish dump.
A Hamilton police spokesman confirmed the man died in Waikato Hospital overnight.
The Waihi man was dropping off rubbish at the Waihi Refuse Transfer Station, about 10.20am yesterday, when, a witness said, the man accelerated too hard, sending the vehicle into a spin.
Transfer station staff member Alan Irvine saw the accident unfold in front of him.
"He's gone to reverse his vehicle and he's opened his door to see where he's reversing and he's put his foot down on the accelerator too hard. The car spun around and threw him out of the car," he said.
"He was very lucky that the car didn't run over him. He was dragged for about a metre before he was totally thrown out."
Mr Irvine said the man, who visited the dump about once a fortnight, had nasty cuts and grazes.
"He was the second customer of the day. It wasn't very nice," he said.
Waihi Volunteer Fire Brigade fire chief Moe Stevens said the man was in a very serious condition when firefighters arrived and deteriorated further as he was being taken by ambulance to Waikato Hospital.
"He went into cardiac arrest in Paeroa but they revived him," he said.
Mr Stevens said the man had "bad abrasions" after being thrown from the car and dragged.
"He was trying to reverse and he went a bit quick and fell out and got dragged around a bit."
Firefighters were the first of the emergency services on the scene, giving the man oxygen and tending to him until an ambulance arrived.