7 Aug 2019

Pedestrian fatally hit by speeding van in Christchurch suburb

7:34 pm on 7 August 2019

Police looking for the driver that fled after fatally hitting a pedestrian in a street in New Brighton, Christchurch have revealed his name and details.

Police at the scene of a hit and run by a white van in New Brighton

Police at the scene of a hit and run by a white van in New Brighton Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Police are seeking the whereabouts of Liam Strickland, 21, in relation to an incident this afternoon where a person died after being struck by a speeding van around 1.55pm today on Hawke Street.

Liam Strickland

Liam Strickland Photo: NZ Police

They described Strickland as 182cm tall, of a medium build with dark hair, with tattoos on his forehead and right cheek

He has a number of warrants for his arrest and is considered dangerous

Police said he should not be approached by members of the public and anyone with information was urged to call 111.

This afternoon witnesses said they saw the van being pursured by up to seven police cars when a man stepped in front of the chased vehicle.

One said the victim looked to be in his thirties and died despite attempts to revive him.

Watch: Raw footage of the van fleeing the scene. Supplied / Sam Heselwood

Acting Canterbury district commander Mike Johnson said a pursuit was initiated shortly before 2pm when a vehicle didn't stop for police in New Brighton.

"The pursuit was abandoned due to the manner of driving and the vehicle [was] located soon after.

"Two of the three people from the vehicle were arrested without incident."

He said soon after a third occupant stole a van and rammed a police dog van.

The stolen vehicle fatally hit a male pedestrian at the intersection of Hawke Street and Shaw Avenue before fleeing.

New Brighton hit and run, Christchurch

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

Police are still working to locate the van and the driver.

A man said he watched a driver swap cars while being pursued by police, shortly before the hit-and-run incident.

Sam Heselwood was working on the roof of a house when he saw police chasing silver Subaru down the street, going about 200km/h.

He said the driver, who was wearing a grey hoodie, then appeared to get into a white van.

Mr Heselwood said the van missed a nearby pedestrian by centimetres as it drove wildly down the street.

New Brighton hit and run, Christchurch

Photo: RNZ / Simon Rogers

An eyewitness said he saw a van moving towards a crowd.

It hit two people and drove off without stopping.

Emergency services are at the scene, the serious crash unit is investigating and the road is closed.