24 Oct 2021

Woman crushed, police car attacked after car event in New Plymouth

11:04 am on 24 October 2021

A woman was crushed between two vehicles and a police car responding to another crash was attacked by a mob after a 'car event' in New Plymouth last night.

Police car on the street at night

Photo: 123RF

About 100 cars were in the Connett Road/De Havilland Drive area at about 10.30pm last night, with some doing skids and burnouts.

The event had been advertised through social media and police spoke to organisers about a possible breach of Alert Level 2 restrictions, but the event still went ahead.

Police said one of the cars doing burnouts lost control. It hit a parked vehicle and a woman standing beside it, crushing her between the two cars.

Inspector Darin Haenga, Acting Taranaki Area Commander said the woman was taken to Taranaki Base Hospital and is in a stable condition.

He said an 18-year-old Inglewood man has been charged with sustained loss of traction and police are not ruling out further charges.

Police then responded to a crash on Centennial Drive, after a vehicle that was not involved in the event skidded on diesel that had been poured on the road, and hit a parked car. The driver was not injured.

But a patrol car responding to the crash was surrounded by a group, with one man jumping on the bonnet of the patrol car and smashing the windscreen, while others threw bottles and cans at the patrol car, smashing the rear window.

Inspector Haenga said the officer was "very lucky" to not be seriously injured in this incident.

He said police were extremely frustrated and concerned at the callous behaviour exhibited by people attending the event.

"Police are aware there will have been participants in this 'car event' who are as horrified as we are at the appalling behaviour displayed by those involved in these incidents and other unsafe driving behaviour during the night.

"We would ask them to do the right thing and get in touch with us to provide any information, including video footage, which may help us identify those responsible."

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