The police officer involved in a vehicle crash on Auckland's North Shore this morning remains in a critical condition in hospital.
Police say the North Shore constable was on his way to a routine inquiry when his vehicle crashed on East Coast Road.
Witnesses said the patrol car hit a couple of road signs before slamming into a garden wall and narrowly missing a young man who was sitting on it.
Police said the officer, who is aged in his 30s, appeared to have suffered a medical event and crashed as a result.
"His family are with him and police are providing them with ongoing support."
Police thanked the individuals who assisted the injured constable, including several members of the public, and staff from St John Ambulance and the Fire Service.
"Many of these people carried out first aid on the officer. A number of the police staff who responded to the incident work closely with the officer and staff are being offered support from the police welfare team."
North Shore area commander Inspector Shanan Gray said this was a difficult time for everyone involved.
"We'd like to thank the public for their concern, including those who have phoned to ask after the officer, or sent messages with their best wishes."
Photo / Josh Harden
A man who was first on the scene of the crash said the vehicle hit a couple of road signs before it slammed into a garden wall, narrowly missing a man that was sitting on it.
"I was inside the car within a few seconds of it happening," said the man, who didn't want to be named. He and an ex-fireman helped the officer before emergency services arrived.
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The pair worked together to remove airbags from the car so the police officer could breathe.
But as the men waited for an ambulance to arrive, the officer deteriorated. Fellow police who arrived on the scene seemed distressed.
The man thought the driver was unconscious at the time of the crash. He guessed the police officer was in his 20s and the pedestrian who was almost hit was in his late teens.
He said it was lucky no one died in the crash.
"There was a lot of luck, everyone got missed, cars and pedestrians, there was a lot of luck."
Another witness said she saw the police officer drive past her slumped back in his seat "at one heck of a speed".
Photo / Ronalee Yvonne
"He had come out of the road by 498 East Coast Road and turned left into East Coast Road. There's a whole bunch of road works signs and cones there and he smashed straight through them," she said.
"Then I looked in my rear view, as it seemed a bit odd since he didn't have any lights on, and I saw him driving pedal to the floor halfway on the side walk," said the woman, who declined to be named.
"The officer in the vehicle did not look quite right when he zoomed past me. He was sitting way back in his seat with his head right back against the headrest."