A routine police patrol ended in a car chase and both cars crashing in Tisbury, just before 5pm yesterday, cutting off power to more than 300 residents.
The police staff involved and the 16-year-old driver of the fleeing 1993 Ford Laser were not harmed.
Senior Sergeant Maggie Windle, of Invercargill, said police had been on a routine patrol in McQuarrie St when the car was spotted being driven in an unsafe manner.
Police activated red and blue lights with sirens, but the car travelled on to Scott St, reaching speeds up to 120kmh, swerving on the road to overtake two cars.
The patrol car followed the Ford, which went onto Rockdale Rd at speed, hit a traffic island and became airborne.
It bounced and then hit the base of a concrete power pole, causing it to snap, bringing it down with the power lines. The vehicle was then immobilised.
The live power lines also came down on the following police vehicle, with two constables inside.
Eyewitnesses described hearing sirens and the police calling for the vehicle to stop.
Ms Windle said the driver would appear in the Invercargill District Court today on charges of failing to stop, possession of cannabis, reckless driving and driving while forbidden.
Powernet general manager of network operations, Gary Pritchard, said more than 300 customers were affected when the vehicle hit the power pole, causing it to break. Electricity was restored to 235 customers by 5.30 and another 82 by 6.55pm.
- The Southland Times
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