Eight people were taken to hospital after a stolen car crashed into another vehicle containing six people near where a police patrol had stopped to speak to a cyclist.

Whangarei police were waiting to speak to the driver of the stolen car who was in hospital after the crash in Western Hills Dr, Whangarei, on Saturday night.

Sergeant John Larkin said eight people were taken to hospital after the head-on crash, which happened at speed after the stolen car crossed to the other side of the road to avoid a police patrol car.

A passenger in the stolen vehicle had serious leg injuries and was understood to have undergone surgery yesterday.


The condition of the others was not known last night but none were believed to have been badly injured.

Mr Larkin said the car was stolen in Whangarei earlier on Saturday evening.

A Northland man has been charged with seven counts of reckless driving causing injury, driving with excess breath-alcohol and getting into a stolen vehicle.

Further charges may be laid and he will appear in Whangarei District Court at a later date.