The driver of a stolen vehicle has died and another man is in hospital with serious injuries from a two-car crash in Bay of Plenty.
This afternoon, a stolen vehicle was seen in the Waihi area and was followed south by police, who alerted other officers.
While in a line of traffic on State Highway Two, the stolen vehicle is understood to have sped away suddenly and crashed almost immediately into another vehicle travelling in the opposite direction near Lindemann Road, 1km north of Katikati, about 5pm.
The male driver, the sole occupant of the stolen vehicle, died at the scene.
The man driving the other car, also travelling alone, was taken to hospital. He is understood to have serious injuries, said police.
An investigation is underway "into the circumstances that led up to this tragedy'', said Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Glenn Dunbier.
Witnesses are being interviewed, but anyone else who saw the crash or has relevant information is asked to contact Tauranga Police on 07 577 4300.
The Serious Crash Investigation Unit is at the scene and diversions are in place.