Police are trying to trace the driver of a utility vehicle found flipped onto its roof on Kahuranaki Road late yesterday afternoon.
About 4.30pm yesterday emergency services arrived on the scene to find a badly crushed silver double cab ute, but no sign of a man allegedly seen crawling from it.
"We know he's injured which is a concern, there's the possibility that those injuries could have a serious effect on his short term health," Hastings Police Senior Constable Tim Rowe said.
Hawke's Bay Hospital and medical centres in the area had been contacted, but did not have any record of a man fitting his description.
"It's possible that he's been taken south to Waipukurau, Waipawa."
Witnesses who came across the accident told police they saw a man with an injury to his head allegedly crawl out of the passengers door, before getting into another vehicle and driving off.
"It's hard to tell if there was anyone else inside because it was flattened. If there was a passenger or passengers in the car there is blood and the airbags deployed so there will be DNA on those."
Police said the driver had come around a sweeping left hand bend, Blood but no driver at scene
crossed the centreline, hit a bank on the right side of the road and rolled, before crashing into a tree and landing upside down.
"Speed is definitely a factor, but we are unsure about alcohol as we are not able to conduct any tests. People do disappear from time to time.", The ute has been impounded for forensic examination to determine whether it may have been stolen.
Other items of interest have also been seized from the wreckage.
As Hawke's Bay Today went to print last night, inquiries were continung into the whereabouts of the driver, who police said would be facing charges for fleeing from the scene as would those who may have aided his get away.
St John Ambulance were called to the scene and helped to search the area.