An eye-witness has described watching a car mount a footpath and hit a lamp post before flipping and coming to rest on its roof in a Rotorua suburb.

The crash happened on Kawaha Point Rd about 300m from the intersection with Koutu Rd just after 4pm today.

Senior Constable Regan Framp said the woman driving the car was its sole occupant. He said she was travelling east when the crash happened.

The car went on to the footpath, collided with trees and hit a power pole, which caused the car to flip twice before coming to rest on its roof.

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Mr Framp said the woman suffered minor injuries.

"Other people who were driving at the time were really lucky they were able to stop and get out of the way."

Dave Mclean told the Rotorua Daily Post he was travelling home from work when he saw the drama unfold.

"I saw the car coming around the corner ... she went into the lamp post and the car flipped twice. I got out of the car and called emergency services.

"We opened the door to see if she was okay. She wasn't moving at all for about three minutes but then she started groaning in pain, we didn't move her.

"When she hit the post all I saw was sparks coming out of the wires and I was worried they were going to hit me.

"It was lucky it wasn't 3pm when school comes out and no one was on the footpath."

Matthew Place resident Anna Johnstone had just got home when she heard the crash. "I had just got home from work and then 'bang!' and I was like 'what happened?' I saw smoke from my room and I came out to see what happened. It looked really bad," she said.

Kawaha Point Rd was closed between Koutu Rd and Aquarius Drive while the car was removed by a tow truck. Traffic lights were also temporarily out.