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Mana Whanonga Pirihimana Motuhake

Fatal crash during pursuit in Wellington

4 April 2019

During the early hours of 19 May 2018, southbound Police saw a speeding Mazda motorcar travelling north out of the Wellington CBD along State Highway 1. Police activated the red and blue lights and siren on the police vehicle and signalled the driver of the Mazda to stop. The driver of the Mazda did not stop and a pursuit was initiated, at which time it was established that the Mazda was stolen.

The pursuit continued along State Highway 1 and was monitored by the Police Central Communications Centre. Remote traffic cameras provided real time footage of the incident. Speeds up to 160kph were reached.

At no time, either before or during the pursuit, did Police know or become aware of the number of occupants of the Mazda or the identity or characteristics of the driver. The rear window of the Mazda was tinted.

The driver of the Mazda lost control of the vehicle as he attempted to negotiate traffic and take a sweeping left bend near the Tawa interchange. The Mazda hit a grass bank to the right of the northbound carriageway, spun and came to a rest in the leftmost lane of the northbound carriageway. A number of occupants in the fleeing vehicle were ejected during the collision. A 15-year-old male travelling in the boot of the Mazda, received fatal injuries. The driver was a 14 year old male.

The Authority oversaw and reviewed a Police investigation and agreed with the conclusion that Police were justified in commencing the pursuit and at all times complied with Fleeing Driver policy.

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