A 29-year-old man whose car left the road on State Highway 50, Maraekakaho and crossed the centre line was lucky to avoid a head-on crash, police say.
He was the only occupant in a white Suzuki which last night travelled 250-metres straddling an open drain on the wrong side of the road, before coming to a halt.
He was heading towards Hastings when the accident occurred south of the Chook and Filly restaurant, just before 6pm.
"It looks like he has come off the road, come across without breaking, straddled a culvert then an open drain for some distance," Hastings Police Sergeant Kent Gilmore said.
"Luckily he avoided a head-on crash. Cars coming in the other direction saw him. It could have been a lot worse."
Damage to the underside of the car was thought to be quite extensive, as it scraped along the rocks. Police were yet to determine what caused the driver to veer off the road.
The man was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital by ambulance and was still being assessed in the emergency department when Hawke's Bay Today went to print.
It was believed he had received back injuries.