6 Dec 2010

Two die in separate police pursuit crashes

5:29 am on 6 December 2010

Two people have died following two separate police pursuits in less than 24 hours in Auckland.

A 33-year-old male driver died at the scene of the crash in Mangere at about 11.30pm on Saturday.

Police say the pursuit began after a car was seen travelling at more than 100 km/h in a 50 km/h zone on Kirkbride Road in Mangere.

The car crashed about 30 seconds into the pursuit.

Two passengers were taken to Middlemore Hospital with serious and moderate injuries. Both are now stable.

In a separate incident on Sunday afternoon, a female passenger died after a stolen car sped away from police in East Auckland.

The car's four occupants were flung out the vehicle when it crashed into a ditch after fleeing police in Botany.

A female passenger had been admitted to Middlemore Hospital with critical injuries and later died.

Two other female passengers were on Sunday in a serious condition, while the male driver received moderate injuries.

The incidents bring the number of police pursuit-related deaths to 19 this year.

Inspector Jason Malcolm says these types of accidents are difficult for all involved.

He says it puts a lot of trauma on the police officers themselves, as well as stress and trauma on the families and members of the public.

Inspector Malcolm says if a police car directs a vehicle to stop using its sirens and lights, police ask that all drivers stop their vehicles so as not to put any further pedestrians and members of the public at risk.

The serious crash unit is investigating both incidents and the Independent Police Conduct Authority has been informed.