Within a couple of minutes of a massive crash on Sunset Rd, Lionel Rogers and his friend were in a creek pulling two young men out of an upside-down submerged car.
"I heard the big bang and I was out the door."
The pair rushed to the car and "it was bad".
"We saw the guys trapped in the car and they were underwater. It was lucky we got there so fast, they would have had about one or two minutes submerged ... I pulled them up on to the bank and I don't know if I broke their arms or what but the adrenaline was pumping."
Rogers was one of several people who rushed to help when two cars collided on Sunset Rd on Sunday night. The driver of the car in the creek suffered critical injuries and his passenger suffered serious injuries.
Police say the cars crashed near the corner of Wrigley and Sunset Rds and occupants of the other car ran from the scene. They were yet to be found. It was not yet known how many people were in that car.
The two injured men were flown from Rotorua Hospital to Waikato Hospital on Sunday night. As of yesterday, one was in a critical condition and the other remained in a serious condition.
Rogers said he hadn't long waved goodbye to his daughter, who had been at their house on Sunset Rd for a family dinner, when he heard the bang.
He said his daughter had reversed out of the driveway at the time of the crash and saw the cars crash.
"The one that ended up in the creek did a 360 in the air. It was quite scary."
He said he saw four people running from the other car - two went in one direction and two went in the other.
Initially, Rogers thought the abandoned car was the only one involved but then realised another vehicle was in the creek.
The Red Stag sales and marketing staff member said his first aid training from jobs over the years kicked in and he tried to calmly assess the situation.
After they pulled the young men out of the car, he told his daughter to run home and get blankets.
"It was scary, man. They weren't in a good way."
He said one was unconscious and the other was semi-conscious and was mumbling that there was a third person.
He said that created a bit of panic as his friend waded down the creek in the dark looking for another victim.
"When my daughter told me it had done a 360 in the air, I then thought that person could have been ejected out of the car so we were looking down Sunset Rd too."
Rogers said he was embarrassed people were thanking him and his friend in Facebook comments for what they did.
"I was just thinking of those fellas and making sure they were all right. It was just adrenaline and anyone would have done it. It took me a while to go to sleep that night."
He said there were a lot of bystanders and everyone pitched in.
"We were just trying to comfort them as much as we could until help arrived.
"At one point I yelled out to someone to get a fire extinguisher because I could hear a hissing noise coming from the car. It was scary, everything was all happening so fast."
Police told the Rotorua Daily Post no arrests had been made.