An elderly woman who fell asleep at the wheel veered off Pakowhai Rd and crashed in to a ditch this morning.

The woman was returning home from a night shift at work.

Traffic was closed to one lane for about 40 minutes as the car was recovered from the ditch.

Constable Libby Bradford urged drivers feeling tired at the wheel to pull over and have a nap.


Police and ambulance crews attended the incident which occurred just after 9am.

The woman was taken to Hawke's Bay Hospital as a precaution but was reportedly uninjured in the crash.