Two local fishermen are in hospital after their ute went off the road, crashing down a bank and into a tree.
Emergency services were alerted to the crash on Masterton-Castlepoint Rd about 4am yesterday after being called by a nearby resident.
The Life Flight Trust rescue helicopter responded, and a crew member said the ute had come to rest about 4m down a small bank. The driver, who has an artificial leg, was thrown out of the ute.
A 40-year-old Masterton man, understood to be Richie Waipuka, was flown by helicopter to Wellington Hospital, with suspected chest injuries, and possible head and neck injuries.
A hospital spokesman said Mr Waipuka was in a stable condition.
The second man in the Toyota Hilux, which police said had “substantial damage”, was taken to Wairarapa Hospital.
A hospital spokeswoman said he was in stable condition with moderate injuries and was being kept in overnight for observation.
Castlepoint Fire Brigade, Masterton Fire Service, Wellington Free Ambulance, Life Flight and Masterton police attended the incident.
Masterton police Senior Sergeant Warwick Burr said alcohol was a suspected factor in the crash.
Castlepoint cray fisherman Tom Wilton confirmed the two men in the crash had been working for him over the past three weeks, and had been given a couple of days off as the market had gone quiet.
Castlepoint fire chief Anders Crofoot, who attended the crash, said he understood the two men had been at the pub on Wednesday night and driven to Castlepoint Station later to meet shearers.
Police could not confirm any circumstances before the crash.