A neighbour to the site of a fatal Christchurch crash says he heard one of the passengers calling for his pregnant partner to be saved from the wreck.
The crash occurred shortly after 2.30am at the corner of Cuthberts Road and Breezes Road.
Three people were injured in the single vehicle crash, with two dying at the scene. The survivor suffered moderate injuries.
The vehicle had been involved in a fleeing driver incident shortly before the crash, police said.
A neighbour to the site of the crash says he heard one of the passengers calling for his pregnant partner to be saved from the wreck.
Matt Ngatai, who lives across the road, said he was woken by the crash and went outside.
He heard a man screaming for his partner to be pulled from the back seat.
Another neighbour to the crash site, Michael Pierce said the area, which goes from a 50 k/hr zone to a stretch of 70 k/hr, was a hot spot for people speeding.
"That is the second time that power pole has now been hit. In the five years we've been here that has been replaced twice. People simply enter the 70 k/hr zone and don't change speed. They continue on at 70k/hr until they hit the corner. Pretty much every weekend we hear spinning tyres. Boy racers love this street."
Police tried to stop the vehicle on Breezes Road but the driver failed to come to a halt.
The pursuit was abandoned because of the dangerous nature of the driving, but less than a minute later the vehicle was found crashed at the corner of Cuthberts Road and Breezes Road.
One of the people who died was the driver. A third person suffered moderate injuries and was treated by ambulance staff.
"If you have seen the vehicle itself it is extremely surprising that anyone has survived it," Canterbury Metro Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said.
The crash was a tragic outcome that nobody wants, he said.
"Police encourage any driver who is signalled to stop by police to do just that.
"It is not worth putting your life, your passenger's life, or anyone else's life at risk."
Mr Todd said the car was pursued for one minute before the pursuit was abandoned, and the crash happened one minute after that.
"We had another similar incident in Christchurch about a month ago. It does reiterate that people need to stop when they are signalled to stop by police."
Mr Todd said the cause of the crash was still being investigated but speed was definitely a factor.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has also been notified.
Mr Todd said there had been a similar incident about a month ago in Christchurch.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified and an investigation has been launched.
The area around the crash, which was at the corner of Breezes Road and Cuthberts Road, is closed and diversions are in place.
Motorists are urged to avoid the area.