Police have named the driver of a car who was killed after he failed to stop at a red light, led them on a high-speed chase and ploughed into another car, injuring the occupants.

They have also identified one of the man's female passengers who is in a critical condition in hospital, after they released a photo of one of her distinctive tattoos.

The horrific crash happened at the intersection of Te Irirangi Drive and Cavendish Drive after police tried to stop a black saloon car on Great South Rd about 10.30 on Saturday.

The driver of the vehicle - named tonight as Eden Hoey, 32, originally from Northland - fled and a short police pursuit ensued, a police spokesman said.

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It is understood the speeding car careered through the intersection at speeds of up to 120km/h and bounced off a parked vehicle, smashing into an SUV.

Hoey died, and his two female passengers were injured - one critically.

The SUV's four occupants were not wearing seatbelts and were ejected through the vehicles back windscreen, suffering serious injuries.

Counties Manukau area commander Inspector Dave Glossop said it was a "miracle" no one in the SUV was killed or seriously maimed in the crash.

"I have seen the incident on camera and it's very disturbing to see ... people weren't wearing seatbelts and they were actually ejected out the back window of the vehicle," he said.

"[They were] very lucky ... It is a real lesson of why to wear a seat belt, but the message that these things happen in a split second ... [a life] was lost and it's just needless."

He added that the fleeing driver's actions were reckless.

"This whole attitude of failing to stop for police needs to end.

"Whatever that person has done is not more important than the community's lives, or their own life."

A police investigation into the matter was ongoing and the Independent Police Conduct Authority had been notified.

The distinctive ankle tattoo which helped identify the injured passenger. Photo / via Police
The distinctive ankle tattoo which helped identify the injured passenger. Photo / via Police

Earlier, police were trying to identify the critically injured woman in the speeding car. They said she was Maori or Polynesian and had distinctive tattoos, including one on her right knee, a musical note on her left inside ankle and a large tattoo on her left forearm.

Tonight, they confirmed she had been identified. She is still in a critical condition in Middlemore Hospital.

Four others were in a stable condition, a spokeswoman said tonight.

Witnesses to the fatal crash have spoken of their shock.

Nearby residents told the Herald they heard a loud bang followed by sirens when the crash happened, within 1km of where police first tried to pull the car over.

"I didn't see the crash but I heard sirens and then a loud bang," one resident said this morning.

Witnesses to the crash posted about it on social media.

A woman shared images of the wreckage on Facebook, saying she had "never seen such a scary thing before".

"First ever serious car crash I have seen in personal throughout my whole life [sic]. But may the Lord be with those who suffered and the family of the loved one who passed ... during that's serious car accident [sic]."

Another woman posted that she was at the scene of the crash with her mother.

"Shocked to see the aftermath of a horrific accident and very sad that people were hurt."