Witnesses have recounted the moment a speeding car fleeing police crashed into another vehicle at a roundabout and then hit a tree in residential Papamoa today.
A police hunt is ongoing for the driver of the car, who fled the crash scene on foot.
Resident Jane Filo was returning home when she heard sirens and decided to wait outside her house and watch.
She saw a speeding car pull out from behind a bus on Dickson Rd and pass it, driving directly over the roundabout island at the intersection of Grant Pl.
Filo said the car managed to pass another vehicle waiting at the roundabout at the other end, but crashed into a car directly behind it.
The collision caused it to swing on to the opposite side of the road and hit a tree.
"It was loud; I was scared. I was standing there watching everything, and when he hit the car, glass went flying."
She said the driver got out of the car, which was now facing in the direction he came from.
He was skinny, tall, had fair skin and a bald head, Filo said.
She said the man went to the back seat and took out what looked like a toolbox.
He then went and opened the boot and took out another object the same colour as the box.
It was long and thick, Filo said.
"Then he started walking, and when he got to that corner [by the church], he ran and jumped over the fence."
Filo then saw it was an elderly woman in the car that was hit.
"So I went up to her, and she was shaking. I brought her to the side of the road; she wanted to sit down."
Filo said the elderly woman had hurt her wrist in the collision, had stomach pain and was in shock.
Teachers from Papamoa Coast Kindergarten ran over to help, she said, and the emergency services soon arrived.
Police said the man's vehicle was initially stopped on Dickson Rd near Grant Pl about 1.20pm.
When the officer got out of the vehicle, the offending driver took off in his car.
The woman who was driving the car he later crashed into was taken to Tauranga Hospital as a precautionary measure, a police spokeswoman said.
The woman suffered moderate injuries.
Police, fire and ambulance staff were called to the incident and this evening police were still looking for the man.
A police spokeswoman said while there was no longer a visible search in the area, the police were still following lines of enquiry.
Meanwhile, Ian Roberts had just arrived in town on holiday from South Africa when he saw the incident unfold in front of him.
"We came around the circle, and I was opening the gates, looking for the key, and this guy just came straight through.
"He hit this [traffic] island, hit the centre island, straight through and hit the lady in the Mitsubishi. He was on the wrong side of the road."
Roberts said the speeding car was flung sideways across the road and hit a tree.
"The tree threw him sideways, and he landed facing back down the same way. It's flipped him in the air."
A wheel was seen rolling down the road.
Roberts said the response from the emergency services was "very quick" and impressive.
At 2.20pm today another crash happened on Domain Rd in Papamoa, between Tara Rd and The Gardens Dr.
A driver involved in that collision also fled the scene, a police spokeswoman said.