Crash fugitive nabbed by observers

Whangarei police are praising the actions of members of the public who chased and caught a man who had allegedly fled from a car crash in the city.

Sergeant Storm Sandilands said a man with two passengers in his car was driving on Waiatawa Rd about 10pm on Saturday when he allegedly got up to speeds of more than 85km/h in the 50km/h zone. Ms Sandilands said that, as the man got to the intersection with Whareora Rd, he lost control and the car left the road, crashing into a fence, then careering into a power pole, bringing it down.

She said the driver of the car then allegedly ran off, leaving his two passengers in the vehicle.

However, several members of the public saw the man flee and gave chase, catching him a short distance away and holding him until police arrived. The driver was taken to Whangarei Hospital with a shoulder injury and allegedly refused to supply a blood sample so police could test for alcohol in his system.

Ms Sandilands said it was a great effort by the members of the public to chase the man and capture him.

"They did a good job," she said.

A 24-year old man has been arrested over the incident and charged with refusing an officer's request for blood and dangerous driving. He will appear in the Whangarei District Court on the charges later this month.

- Northern Advocate

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