11 Apr 2015

IPCA to probe death after police chase

7:04 pm on 11 April 2015

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) will investigate the death of a teenager flung from a car as he fled from police in Oropi, near Tauranga.

The car 18-year-old Levi Green was in fled when police signalled for it to pull over, and accelerated over a bank.

Police say the crash happened so fast that officers had not officially declared a pursuit.

But the incident was automatically referred to the IPCA.

Police had been called to a party in Oropi, south of Tauranga, at 11pm yesterday after reports that someone had been struck by a car.

They said when they neared the house they tried to pull Mr Green's car over for having no tail lights, but he fled.

The car went over a bank and Mr Green was thrown out. The Tauranga teenager died on the way to hospital.

A police spokesperson said officers were still trying to piece together what happened, but an initial scene examination had shown not wearing a seatbelt was a factor in Mr Green's death.

She said police were interviewing about 150 people who were at the party.

Witnesses told officers the car had earlier been seen at a party and was later seen driving erratically on Mountain Rd.

Police said Mr Green's car was not the one that had earlier struck a partygoer after about a dozen gatecrashers were involved in an altercation.

The person struck by the car was not seriously injured.