A car accident that left a passenger seriously injured when the vehicle rolled down a riverbank could have been even worse if it hadn't been low tide, a rescue helicopter pilot says.
Emergency services, including a Westpac Rescue Helicopter, were called to the scene on the Tuakau Bridge-Port Waikato Road early yesterday evening.
Co-pilot Aaron Knight said initial reports said there were five people in the car.
One of them, a teenager, was thrown out as the car rolled down.
"They'd gone off a corner and rolled several times. The vehicle had landed back on its wheels, you could see substantial damage to the vehicle," he said.
Mr Knight said it could have been a lot worse.
"They were very lucky that the tide was out, given the nature of the patient we attended to where she was thrown from the vehicle.
"It would have been highly likely that she would have been underwater," he said.
Mr Knight said the corner where the car went off the road was reasonably sharp and there were no guard rails along it.
The teenager, who was taken to Middlemore Hospital, is now in a stable condition.