Teen driver crashes trying to outrun police
An unlicensed teen is in a serious condition after rolling his car three times during a police pursuit that reached 140kmh near Dunedin.
A patrol car operating a radar speed detector took chase after the Toyota Rav 4 was clocked at 122kmh about 10.45am yesterday on State Highway 87 between Middlemarch and Outram, Senior Sergeant Brian Benn said.
It did not appear the boy, 16, had a driver's licence, he said. "That might have been in his mind when deciding what to do when the police car was after him."
The boy didn't stop and continued to overtake about three cars on the 100kmh rural road. Apart from the speed getting up to about 140kmh his manner of driving was "not too dangerous".
"The risk factor was his speed."
After about four minutes, he lost control on a corner, rolled three times, and came to rest on a farm fence, Benn said.
It was possible sun strike was involved, as officers noted the sun was at eye level at the time.
A rescue helicopter took the teenager to Dunedin Hospital in a serious condition, where he was being supported by his mother. An ambulance spokeswoman said he was unconscious before being transported.
Benn said it was not known what charges the boy would face.
Initial indications were that the pursuit was conducted in accordance with police policy.
"I guess we're thankful there was only one vehicle involved. We had a police car out in the right place ... and it comes down to a driver making a bad decision and that he failed to stop.
Police were also called to a crash on the Lindis Pass near Morven Hills about 10.30am yesterday, after a 4WD rolled and landed upside-down on the side of the road. When police arrived, they discovered another car was involved. The occupants all had minor injuries.
The Southland Times