Stolen car slams into driver
A man on his way to a barbecue at a friend's place was caught up in an accident involving a stolen vehicle on the evening of September 22.
At about 7.30pm, police identified the Mitsubishi Libero on Tamaki Dr, which had been stolen in Wellsford earlier that day.
The driver turned into the car park at Mission Bay when asked to pull over. He subsequently drove off and the police officer pursued him onto Kepa Rd and then Kohimarama Rd.
Tyson Moore was waiting at the intersection of St Heliers Bay Rd with Kohimarama and St Johns roads .
"I was on St Heliers Bay Rd waiting to turn right on to Kohimarama Rd. At first I saw a police station wagon coming down St Johns Rd. It passed me with the lights flashing and sirens blaring as it headed on to Kohimarama Rd.
"When it was my turn to go, I pulled out and then I heard the screech of the brakes.
"I saw a car coming towards me out of the corner of my eye just before it hit me on the right-hand side.
"It was scary for the first couple of seconds but then I thought: ‘Well I'm alive, I'm getting out of the car'."
One of the three passengers in the offending vehicle was taken to hospital for observation. Mr Moore sustained whiplash and bruising but is philosophical about the event.
"Even though my car was written off, I was just glad the guys are going to be prosecuted rather than get away with it."
The 33-year-old thinks the police acted as safely as possible given the situation but thinks more resources would help.
"They should definitely have road spikes ready. Other than that, I can't really fault them because they were trying to do their jobs as best they could," he says.
"It looks like the police tried to head them off at the pass. But I guess with the limited resources they have there isn't always too much they can do if some idiot is going to race around like that anyway."
Monique Lambermon is the mother of Mr Moore's girlfriend and was on the scene not long after the accident. She is concerned that the actions of police put Mr Moore's life in danger.
"If he'd taken off slightly slower, the impact would have been worse and he could have been killed," she says.
"I'd like to know if there is going to be an investigation of police conduct.
"I understand the police need to do their job but surely there must be another way to deal with that sort of situation without involving innocent people," she says.
Police spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty says the chase ended before the crash.
"More often than not, if there's any perceived risk to public safety or to staff then the pursuit is abandoned."
"If someone is insistent on driving through an intersection against the lights when there are no police vehicles in pursuit and they put other people's lives in danger, that is not something the police can control."
Investigations into the crash are ongoing.
A 28-year-old unemployed Whangarei man arrested in connection with the incident is remanded on bail and will appear in court on October 19.
- East And Bays Courier
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