The sister of a 17-year-old youth who died in a crash while fleeing police says officers need to change the way they approach pursuits.
Luke Wooster of Hastings died early on Saturday when his Honda CRX hit a bridge. A witness estimated he was travelling at 180km/h in a 70km/h zone when he crashed.
He had failed to stop for police and a patrol car was pursuing him.
Luke was on a restricted licence and carrying a 17-year-old male passenger when he crashed. The passenger was in a stable condition in Hawkes Bay Hospital last night.
Luke's sister, Sara, said yesterday that she was considering making a complaint to the police about the pursuit.
She urged drivers, particularly young ones, not to flee when signalled to pull over.
"Do try to stop," she said. "A fine is better than your life because you end up hurting too many people. Your family suffers so much."
But the 19-year-old said some of the blame for her brother's death and other recent fatalities and injuries during pursuits lay with police.
"They need to consider that they have been trained to drive like that and they have way more experience than a 17-year-old boy who has not long got his car.
"I think they need to look at all aspects of it, not just that 'I'm going to make a thousand bucks off this young fulla tonight, and I'm going to chase this little s ... till I arrest him'.
"Why can't they take the licence plate number and come around on Saturday morning and say, 'We're impounding your car and giving you a $600 fine', instead of having an outcome like this?"
The Police Complaints Authority is investigating Luke's crash, but Hastings police say they are satisfied with the pursuing officer's actions.
National road policing support Inspector Rob Morgan said safety was paramount during pursuits and all pursuits were managed by police communications centres.
"Obviously, it's finely balanced because police cannot just stand by and let people break the law."
Luke had been driving for about two years and bought his car three or four months ago, his sister said.
She believed he "freaked out" when he saw the patrol car and was possibly worried about getting another fine.
He had received one in the past for breach of licence conditions and "was gutted that he had to fork out".
Luke's close-knit family were struggling to believe he was gone.
Luke was one of six people who died in weekend road crashes.
A man was killed after a car went through a stop sign and hit another in Canterbury early yesterday.
Tayne Henry Davis, 16, of Westport, died after his car left State Highway 6 at Charleston, southwest of Westport, about 4pm on Saturday.
A 23-year-old Thames man died when his car hit a crash barrier on State Highway 25, about 4km from the Kopu-Hikuai turnoff, late on Saturday night, and two people died near Paeroa when their car hit a power pole.
Fatal and injury pursuits
Auckland teen Farhat Buksh received head injuries when he was hit by a falling lamppost during a police pursuit.
Claims the police vehicle did not have its lights or sirens on are being investigated.
The same day Taranaki teenager Cameron Gubb was admitted to hospital with a slashed face after an alleged drInk-driver careered into his car during another pursuit.
An Auckland driver fleeing police sped through a red traffic light and collided head-on with another vehicle. Three people were taken to hospital.
A 17-year-old drowned after jumping into the Waikato River at Ngaruawahia to escape police who pursued him and a friend from Hamilton.
Michael Ellicock died when his BMW crashed in a New Plymouth street and caught fire.
Police had pursued the 21-year-old for one minute but abandoned the chase before the crash because of his "excessive" speed.
- Additional reporting: NZPABy Juliet Rowan Email Juliet