Police in Southland say a driver is lucky to be alive after he crashed into a tree early Thursday morning, splitting his car in two.
The man, 20, was heading south to Mataura from Gore along State Highway 1 about 5.30am Thursday when the accident happened.
Constable Martin Cupit from Mataura police said a nearby resident heard the crash and called emergency services.
He said the impact split the Subaru wagon the man was driving in two, leaving the rear half of the vehicle about 20m down the road from the front half.
Constable Cupit said alcohol and speed were likely to have caused the accident.
The man is now in the Invercargill Hospital being treated for moderate injuries.