A young man who suffered life-threatening injuries when run down outside a party in Tauranga early yesterday "looked dead" when his friends found him covered in blood on the ground.

Jamere Turner, 24, was in a serious but stable condition in Tauranga Hospital's high-dependency unit last night after being struck by a vehicle in his cousin's Edgecumbe Rd driveway shortly before 4am.

The man alleged to have run down Mr Turner is facing a charge of assault with a vehicle and is due to appear in the Tauranga District Court today.

Yesterday, bloodstains could be seen on the driveway and a lone sneaker on the grass. The scene was cordoned off for most of the day while a police forensics team investigated.

Mr Turner's cousin, who asked not to named, said the incident happened after a party to celebrate her son's first birthday led to more celebrations that night.

She told the Herald she was walking up some stairs when she looked out a doorway and saw Mr Turner and the driver, who she said is the boyfriend of another of her cousins, talking together.

"One was in the car and one was out of the car, and from what I saw it didn't look like they were arguing. Maybe they were, but it didn't look like it. But he just reversed back so he had a bit of a run-up, went towards my cousin and ran him over.

"He backed up a metre or two ... put it in drive, floored it forward and took off - and we didn't see him again."

Another resident further down the street heard a car speed past.

Mr Turner's cousin said the driving would have been going very fast to climb the steep bank between her driveway and the street above.

The sight of her cousin being dragged down her driveway was traumatising, she said, and those inside the house immediately rushed out.

"Everyone ran out. He looked dead, he was still breathing, but he looked dead - he had no movement, no nothing.

"And there was blood everywhere, and teeth everywhere. We phoned the police straight away."

She said the driver knew he was not allowed to come to her son's party, but he turned up anyway.

Mr Turner's mother visited the driver at the police station and her son in hospital yesterday, but did not wish to comment, saying: "It's still raw."