Driver crashes after police abandon chase

NEIL RATLEY
Last updated 05:00 07/04/2014
car crash
NEIL RATLEY/Fairfax NZ
CONSEQUENCES: Police attend the scene of a car crash in Invercargill. The white Mitsubishi, involved in an abandoned police chase, ended up ramming into two other cars.

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A peaceful Sunday afternoon was disrupted for residents in a quiet Invercargill street when a car involved in an abandoned police chase came to a crushing halt.

The white Mitsubishi Gallant came to a sudden stop near the corner of Newcastle and Antrim streets after crashing into a parked van and then an oncoming car yesterday afternoon.

The rear of the car was crushed and the two other cars were also badly damaged.

Fluids were pooled on the road with glass and debris strewn across the crash scene.

Senior Sergeant Steve Aitken, of Dunedin, said the driver of the fleeing car was a 25-year-old Central Otago man, who required treatment at the scene by St John.

He had minor facial abrasions but his car sustained significant damage, he said.

The driver was arrested and would appear in the Invercargill District Court.

He was charged with driving while disqualified, dangerous driving, failing to stop and could face a further charge of driving with excess breath alcohol, Aitken said.

Police received a call about 4.40pm in relation to a car that was swerving over the road and crossing the centre line on State Highway 1 between Edendale and Woodlands.

A police patrol spotted the car approaching Invercargill and signalled for it to stop.

The car failed to stop and police started a pursuit that was abandoned as it approached residential areas, Aitken said.

A short time later the car was found in the middle of the road in Windsor. An officer at the scene said it was reported the car had overtaken several cars in the Windsor area before the crash.

"The car had been travelling south on Antrim St and appeared to have side-swiped a parked van, which flipped the offending vehicle around 180 degrees and, as it rotated, it struck a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction," Aitken said.

The driver of the second car was uninjured but her car was seriously damaged.

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