A critically hurt man who was trapped in a car after a serious crash near Tauranga is in a serious condition in Waikato Hospital.

A spokesman said the patient was under assessment in the emergency department.

The two car collision he was in also left two other people with serious injuries.

The incident happened at the intersection of State Highway 2 and Omokoroa Rd in about 4.50pm.

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The crash closed the road for a couple of hours.

Jack Pearce was travelling along State Highway 2 when he came across the crash.

The English tourist said ambulance crew were dealing with a person on the ground.

"There were plenty of police and paramedics about. It didn't look good."

Traffic heading north was backed up as far as Te Puna.

One man was taken to Waikato hospital via rescue helicopter and two women were taken to Tauranga via ambulance.