30 Jan 2020

Road spikes use justified before fatal crash of three fleeing teens - IPCA

11:43 am on 30 January 2020

The police watchdog says officers were justified in using road spikes, before three teenagers died in a late-night crash in Christchurch a year ago.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

Sixteen-year-old Glen McAllister, his 13-year-old brother Craig, and 13-year-old Brooklyn Taylor were going at more than 100km/h in a stolen car when police started to pursue them.

The chase was abandoned when the car ran a red light and an officer on Blenheim Road in Riccarton rolled out road spikes to stop them.

After going over the spikes the car hit a tree and burst into flames, killing the occupants.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority says the police officer did a sound risk assessment before deploying the spikes, and was not responsible for the deaths.

Police said they accepted the ruling, and the Serious Crash Unit found the crash was caused by loss of control as the driver unsuccessfully swerved to avoid the spikes.

District Commander Superintendent John Price said the officers involved were reminded of fleeing-driver policies but no-one could have foreseen that devastating outcome.