A young family had their vehicle flipped in a serious highway crash while travelling home from a holiday at Mount Maunganui.
Sergeant Mike Owen said the New Plymouth family's grey Toyota Highlander was rear-ended by a red Toyota Hilux and flipped on to its side as they were turning right from State Highway 29, Tauriko, into the carpark of Friends Dairy about 11.30am yesterday.
The Hilux was carrying two teenagers.
The driver of the Highlander, who did not wish to be named, said his wife and three children, aged 9 and 11, were rattled but unscathed.
"We'd been at the Mount for a week and stopped in to get some fruit and veges and got hit from behind," he said. "You don't expect to get hit from behind."
One of his children was sitting in the back seat position which took most of the impact but was not hurt.
"We've just got a few cuts and bruises. Probably having a newish vehicle helped," the man said.
It was a frightening end to what was great holiday, one of his daughters said.
"It was so scary. I was just reading my book," she said.
The vehicles were both written off and towed from the scene, leaving the family looking for a rental car to get themselves home.
Tarnpreet Singh was working in the dairy when the accident happened outside.
"I heard a bang. Everyone was just shouting to call 111," he said.
"When I came out the grey car was on its side.
"Customers and staff just got the people out quickly. The children were in shock."
Mount Maunganui St John operations team manager Gary Bishell said the seven people were checked at the scene.
"There were no injuries as such. The children were particularly upset, especially the one who was sitting in the left back corner. They are extremely fortunate," Mr Bishell said.
It was good quality cars and seatbelts that saved the occupants from injury, he said.
Mr Owen said inquiries were continuing into the cause of the crash.
"It's a good reminder to drivers to take extra care in the holiday season and be aware if what other road users are doing and what's around them," Mr Owen said.
"Thankfully no one was seriously injured. It could have been a lot worse."
Following the crash the Tauranga- bound lane was partially blocked for about an hour and traffic was banked up about two kilometres in both directions.