The driver of a stolen vehicle that crashed near Katikati yesterday was an 18-year-old man from Huntly.
He was killed when the Hyundai Accent he was driving collided with a Nissan Bluebird travelling in the opposite direction. The driver of the Nissan, a 54-year-old man from Waihi is in Tauranga Hospital in a stable condition with moderate injuries.
District Commander for Bay of Plenty District Police, Superintendent Glenn Dunbier, said the stolen vehicle was seen in the Waihi area and followed in a line of traffic into the Bay of Plenty District by police who alerted staff across the border.
He said police continued to follow the vehicle in a line of traffic when it suddenly sped away out of sight and crashed almost immediately into a vehicle on State Highway Two near Lindemann Road about 5pm.
The male driver and sole occupant of the stolen vehicle died at the scene.
"An investigation into the cause of the crash is underway and the Independent Police Conduct Authority is being notified, which is a matter of course when police have been following a vehicle prior to a crash," he said.
The man who died is expected to be named later today once all the relevant notifications have taken place.
Police still want to hear from any witnesses to the crash or to the manner of driving of the green Hyundai Accent vehicle prior to the crash. Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300.