A Napier business owner could do nothing but watch, as a car left the road and plunged into the side of a building last night.

Emergency services were called to the scene of the crash in Pandora about 6.30pm yesterday evening.

The male driver was taken to hospital in a critical condition by St John Ambulance.

I saw the tail-lights of the car disappear ... and go with a thump.

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At the time of the crash, Murray from Hawke's Bay Caravan Sales had been nearby in his workshop on Pandora Rd.

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He said he heard the sound of tyres, "and then a bit of a thump noise. I thought 'that sounds like something's wrong'."

He walked down toward Hyderabad Rd to see what had happened.

"I saw the tail-lights of the car disappear off Pandora Rd and go with a thump into the wool store.

"I called 111, because it had hit [the building] pretty hard."

The car had crossed from the left hand lane into the northbound one, before going over a small bank and crashing into the side of one of Hawke's Bay's biggest warehousing complexes - which until earlier this year was Fonterra's regional milk powder distribution centre.

While he waited for emergency services, Murray began walking down to the scene where other motorists had stopped to help. He saw tyre tracks crossing the grass median island in the direction the car had gone.

Another car, driving northbound, had stopped at the same time as the crash occurred, he said.

A police spokesman said it appeared the Land Rover may have hit another vehicle before going off the road, but it was not confirmed.

Although the blue Land Rover had two child car seats in it, he said it appeared the man had been the sole occupant.

Last night, a Hawke's Bay District Health Board spokeswoman said the man remained in a critical condition in the intensive care unit at Hawke's Bay Hospital.

The road had been closed between Hyderabad Rd and Severn St for a period as emergency services attended.

Two appliances from the Napier Fire Brigade were also called to the scene to help free the man, who was trapped in the car.

Police remained at the scene until late last night.

The serious crash unit are investigating the incident.