Hundreds were without electricity for hours in a Whangarei suburb when the driver of a Nissan Skyline smashed the vehicle into and took down a power pole.
The crash happened about 12.30pm yesterday on Corks Rd in Tikipunga, and had some residents of the street calling for speed-calming efforts on the busy road.
Residents told the Northern Advocate they saw the car driving up and down the road prior to the crash, and said luckily children were not playing on the roadside at the time of the accident.
The car was heading towards Kiripaka Rd when it swerved on the opposite lane, on to the footpath before slamming into the power pole with 11kV lines and a wooden fence. A car parked on the fenced property sustained minor damage.
The crashed car was almost split in two and firefighters had to cut the driver, who was in his late to mid 30s, free before St John paramedics transported him to Whangarei Hospital.
The extent of his injuries was not known. He was the sole occupant of the car.
The road from Reed St to Kiripaka Rd was blocked as Northpower crews replaced the damaged pole.
Company spokesman Steve MacMillan said power went out at 12.39pm and 413 households on Corks Rd and surrounding streets were affected.
Power was expected to have resumed about 6pm yesterday.
A Corks Rd resident said the driver was lucky he did not have a front-seat passenger.
"The car hit a supermarket trolley on the side of the road and I heard the engine revving then a bang. I went out and there was a fellow who opened the car door but I told him to keep out because the power lines were hanging above," she said.
The woman said speeding and erratic drivers had been a problem since she moved to Corks Rd about six months ago, and said barriers such as speed bumps or chicanes should be installed.
"The safety of the kids is paramount. It's fortunate they were not playing anywhere near where the crash happened."
Police serious crash investigator Warren Bunn was at the scene yesterday.