The driver of a car, which crashed and led to the closure of a highway in Whangarei early this morning, is in a critical condition in hospital after being flung from his vehicle in the accident.

Initial reports from police indicated the crash occurred on Otaika Road between a moving car and one parked near the Otaika shops.

However, a police spokesperson this morning said after speaking with the police inspector more details revealed the car, which was fleeing police had turned directly into the path of a moving patrol car.

Police had engaged in a pursuit of the car, at two this morning when it was spotted speeding. Two patrol cars were involved in the attempts to stop the vehicle, with one of them preparing to deploy spikes.

Advertisement

The pursuit lasted for about eight minutes, during which the car turned directly into the path of one of the police cars and collided with it on Otaika Road.

The driver was thrown from the car and two officers received minor injuries and were treated in hospital.

As per police process the accident has been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.