A "miracle" is needed for a 20-year-old Hawke's Bay man, critically injured in a weekend crash, to recover and help piece together the cause of the puzzling accident.
The Havelock North man was travelling south on 100km/h-zoned Stock Rd, between Bridge Pa and Flaxmere, about 9.25am on Saturday when his gold 2004 Honda Accord collided with an eight-tonne Infracon truck travelling in the opposite direction.
Firefighters had to cut open the side of the vehicle to free the man, who received serious head injuries.
His parents were at his bedside in Wellington Hospital ICU last night, where he remained in a critical condition after being transported there by helicopter yesterday morning, said Senior Constable Tim Rowe of Hastings police.
"It was pretty bad - a family's lives have been thrown into turmoil for a long time through a split second of whatever happened."
Mr Rowe said there was no reason to believe speed or alcohol were factors in the crash and that the truck driver and passenger - a father and son from Hastings - did all they could to prevent the accident.
"At the moment we are just going from what we have got from the scene and pulling together from that, and hoping like hell that a miracle happens and the young boy survives to tell us himself.
"We don't know if there was anything in the car to distract him, but alcohol and speed don't appear to be involved, all we know is he was travelling from home.
"We are waiting to speak to his mum and dad because as you can imagine they have a lot more on their plates right now. We need to know more background about where he has been and anything that is relevant to the investigation."
The collision happened when the young man's car took a sweeping left-hand bend.
"The driver and passenger of the truck, they're very shaken but have very minor injuries.
"The truck driver isn't at fault, he did everything he could."
The truck was carrying the men's work tools.
Emergency services were at the scene until about 1pm on Saturday, and road blocks at either end of Stock Rd diverted traffic.
The man was originally taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital by St John Ambulance, before being transferred to Wellington.
Two 19-year-old females were taken to the Hawke's Bay Hospital at lunchtime yesterday after a collision outside the Waipukurau Golf Club on SH2, Central Hawkes Bay.
St John Hawke's Bay district operations manager Stephen Smith said one of the young women had minor chest injuries, and the other had minor abdominal injuries.