An out-of-control car went within metres of crashing into one of Maraenui's oldest homes late on Friday night.
The just-sold house on the corner of Geddis Ave and Lister Cr was built in 1936 and has been home for the last six years to Ian Matehe and Debbie Stubbs, who move out in mid-October after buying a new home.
Both were awoken just before midnight when a car demolished the corrugated iron fence fronting Geddis Ave outside, a mobile barbecue stand, and a metal street-lamp and post, and also hitting a tree.
Skid marks stretching as far as 30 metres showed the car, believed to have had just one occupant – a man who appeared unconscious when he was rescued from the wreckage by members of the public - had been heading west and veered across the road, just before midnight.
A man, thought to be aged in the 20s, was taken by St John Ambulance to Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings and was on Sunday reported to be in a stable condition.
Stubbs, who works in pre-school child education was asleep on the couch at the time of the crash, said she "thought it was an earthquake". Matehe, a major force behind waka ama and associated community support in Napier, wondered what was happening and went outside wondering why it was so dark when the area was normally well-lit by the street-light.
Across the road, Karaitiana Aranui was watching the end of the Rabbitohs-Manly Sea Eagles NRL semifinal – by that stage a foregone conclusion – when he heard the crash.
"It was a helluva crash," he said.
"I went outside to have a look, there were already people gathering around," he said.
"Within two minutes there would have been 20 people, doesn't take long for word to get round around here."
Police had no further details, and were unaware of an incident in which a similarly coloured car had hit a fence on the Masefield Ave frontage of another property cornering Geddis Ave, a few hundred metres from the major crash scene.
Stubbs, Matehe and neighbours were out before 8am on Saturday clearing debris from the scene and the wrecked portions of the fence so that Matehe could get another fence in place to secure the household's three dogs.
But good samaritans weren't early enough to save a gas cylinder from the barbecue which been against the fence and took the full impact. Thrown clear on to the intersection, the cylinder was inspected by a fire crew to make sure it wasn't damaged and leaking, but by morning it had disappeared.