A streak of blood marks the road where an 18-year-old fell off the back of a ute in Welcome Bay last night.
The male teenager sustained critical injuries and is in Waikato Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.
A resident who lives on Waitaha Rd arrived home soon after the incident, which happened around 8.45pm.
He said he saw people congregated around an unconscious body, but emergency services had not yet arrived.
"I wondered what on earth the story was; I wondered whether somebody was laying on the road and got hit. But no, that's not what happened."
Police would later say the teenager fell off the back of a ute.
The Waitaha Rd resident said there was a fair bit of blood.
"He was unconscious on the road. He was bleeding out the top of his head."
The man said two ambulances, two fire trucks and about five police cars responded to the incident.
He said the teenager was still unconscious when he was taken away by ambulance.
Another resident said the vehicle involved was a white 4X4 ute.
The 18-year-old was transferred from Tauranga to Waikato Hospital in the early hours of this morning.
A Waikato DHB media spokeswoman said he is still in a critical condition.
Meanwhile, police inquiries into the incident are continuing.
Police would like to hear from anyone who saw a ute driving on Waitaha Rd around 8.45pm last night, or anyone who witnessed the young man falling from the ute.
If you can help, call Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300.