More than 40 emergency services personnel responded to a serious three-vehicle crash in Pongakawa that shut down part of State Highway 2.
Five people were injured in the crash on Wednesday afternoon, says a St John spokesperson.
Three of those patients were airlifted to Waikato Hospital, and another two were taken by ambulance to Tauranga Hospital.
A Waikato District Health Board spokesperson says one patient remains in critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit.
Another is in serious but stable condition in the High Dependency Unit.
The third patient was transported in moderate condition.
Also, the two patients taken to Tauranga Hospital were in moderate and minor condition.
A Facebook post by the Pukehina Volunteer Fire Brigade says this crash exemplified “the resources that are at hand for us to use on a call out”.
“There were 40 plus emergency services personnel involved, traffic management and members of the public assisted.”
The post states that behind the ambulances pictured, see above, there are three fire trucks from Maketu, Pukehina and Te Puke.
Multiple police vehicles and three rescue helicopters also responded to the incident.
Diversions were put in place yesterday evening as SH2 was closed for hours between Pongokawa and Pukehina.
Motorists were urged to avoid the area.
Residents are also praising the “amazing” first responders who attended the crash.
“We just wanted to let people know how amazing our first responders are, and how thankful we are to have them - both Pukehina and Maketu Fire & Emergency volunteers backed up by the professionals,” says one woman who lives nearby the crash scene.
“It was eerie seeing three helicopters land and three St John ambulances with their volunteers. Hopefully, the accident victims will be ok with the outstanding care they received.”
Pukehina Volunteer Fire Brigade say they are currently looking to recruit more volunteers.