25 Mar 2020

Man who died following police pursuit named

12:30 pm on 25 March 2020

Police have identified the man who died following a police pursuit near Oamaru.

Police generic

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

He was Christopher Narayan Blair, 32, from Dunedin.

Blair was one of two occupants in the car which was reported as driving dangerously between Hampden and Palmerston in North Otago on Saturday morning.

Shortly before 7am, a police unit spotted the vehicle south of Oamaru and tried to stop it.

The driver fled.

Officers followed for a short time before abandoning the chase and the vehicle was found crashed soon after in Oamaru, the police said at the weekend.

Police have not said whether Blair or the second occupant was driving the vehicle.

The other occupant was flown to hospital by helicopter.

"Our officers go out every day looking to make the community safer - this is the absolute last thing any officer wants to see happen on their shift," Otago Coastal area commander, Inspector Marty Gray, said.

"It is an absolutely tragic outcome.

"We would always advise that anyone who is signalled to stop by police should simply stop."

The Independent Police Conduct Authority were notified about the matter.

The police continued to investigate the circumstances of the crash and asked anyone who witnessed the incident to contact police on 105 and quote event number P041408802.