A passenger has been seriously injured and police are searching for the driver after a single-vehicle crash near Cessnock.

About 1.30pm on Tuesday a blue Ford Falcon was travelling east on Abernethy Street, Abernethy, when the vehicle left the road and hit a tree stump.

A 28-year-old male front seat passenger was taken to John Hunter Hospital in a serious condition.

Police have been told the driver fled the scene without rendering assistance prior to the arrival of emergency services.

Officers are investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

As inquiries continue into the whereabouts of the driver, police are urging anyone who may have witnessed the crash or who may have dashcam footage or CCTV of the incident and the moments after to contact police or Crime Stoppers.