Mike Broad told his son Joshua Kinnaird to "hold on" in the moment before they were in a head-on crash.
It was January 13 and the pair were travelling north along State Highway 2 back to Waihi.
It had started to rain so Mike dropped his speed to 90km/h.
He knew it was going to happen.
He could see headlights coming straight at him and he knew the other car was travelling fast.
"It happened so quickly," Mike said.
After the impact, airbags went off inside the car and Mike remembered inhaling the powder.
His wife Brigid Broad was the first person he called.
"Baby we've been in a crash, it's serious," are the only words Brigid heard before Mike's phone died.
"It was the stuff nightmares are made of," Brigid said.
Mike and Joshua were taken to Tauranga Hospital.
To get to her injured family, Brigid had to drive through the crash scene near Turners Rd on the first of the Apata Curves between Katikati and Tauranga.
"I felt like vomiting," she said.
Mike suffered major injuries and his right leg was rebuilt with plates and screws. Joshua suffered minor injuries including bruising and a dislocated thumb.
Brigid said the crash has affected the family's lives immensely, "Mike and Joshua especially."
The pair often have flashbacks of the accident but still have to drive along SH2 to get to Mike's hospital appointments.
"It makes us cringe [driving along SH2] and the amount of crashes lately has also made us very sad," Brigid said.
"Travelling that road is awful."
The driver of the other vehicle died at the scene.
He was one of 26 people who lost their lives on SH2 in the past seven years.
Police statistics released to the Bay of Plenty Times showed a further three people died on side roads off SH2 in the same timeframe, taking the number of deaths to 29.
Western Bay residents had expressed their concerns over the safety of the highway and more than 6900 people had signed a petition to urge roading officials to make upgrades to SH2 the number one priority.
Omokoroa Community Board chairman Murray Grainger said the number of signatures collected was "incredible" and showed the measure of how strongly the community felt about the issue.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council transport policy manager Garry Maloney said submissions to the Council's proposed Regional Land Transport Plan, which closed yesterday, were yet to be reviewed.
"However, based on reports in the media there appears to be a high level of interest in how the State Highway 2 projects have been prioritised in the Regional Land Transport Plan," he said.
Council staff would begin to review the submissions next week prior to the hearings on April 11-12.