Police are waiting for forensic results before deciding whether to charge the man who sparked a two-day search of a West Coast lagoon after crashing his car and running off during a police pursuit.

Detective Sergeant Jackie Adams of Greymouth said police believed they knew who the driver of the vehicle was, but needed to prove it.

He is from Christchurch and is believed to have been visiting a relative in Cobden at the time.

Soon after he had crashed and fled into the Cobden Lagoon, the pursuing police officer heard cries of help, the driver saying he was stuck in the mud.

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After day two of searching the lagoon, police were told the man's family had taken him back to Christchurch. Mr Adams said both the driver and his family could be charged.

- The Greymouth Star