The driver of a car involved in a major crash escaped with only moderate injuries although traffic was brought to a standstill and power was knocked out to nearby homes.
A 23-year-old man crashed his silver Mitsubishi Lancer into a power pole on State Highway 2, just south of Baypark Speedway, about 6.30pm yesterday.
He was taken to hospital with minor to moderate injuries.
A resident in nearby Truman Lane said he heard a huge bang shortly before losing power to his home.
It took firefighters almost an hour to cut the man from the wreckage and assist St John staff to lift the man on to a stretcher.
The impact of the crash caused the power pole to snap off at the base, cutting power to nearby homes.
North-bound vehicles were allowed through at some points but traffic was banked up in both directions.
Tauranga Police Constable Dean O'Connor said it was not clear how the accident happened.
"We don't have a lot to go on. We don't have any witnesses at this stage, apart from one person who saw it [the car] hit the power pole.
"Indications are, at this stage, that it was coming from Papamoa."
The only witness had been driving in the other direction at the time of the crash but did not recall seeing the car coming towards him, only the impact itself, Mr O'Connor said.
There were no skid marks on the road but it appeared the car hit the power pole and spun around, he said.
Mr O'Connor said the man was lucky to be in such good shape, as the car did not have any airbags.
Tauranga St John acting team manager Andrew Lowes said the man was conscious and talking to rescuers when he was removed from the car.