"If there were cars coming I would have been dead because I was sideways."
Those were the words of a Northland man who was driving on State Highway 1 north of Whangārei yesterday when his vehicle was clipped and sent sliding sideways by another driver allegedly fleeing police.
The man, who only wanted to be known as Dan, said he was heading north just past Hikurangi, after 11.15am yesterday, when "out of nowhere" a car "came up" and hit the left rear corner of his car as the other driver overtook his vehicle on the inside.
He said he did not see the vehicle coming but heard a bang before the impact threw his car into a fishtailing slide down the wrong side of the road.
Dan fought to get his car back under control, eventually coming to stop about 80 metres further down the road with the front half of his car on the shoulder of the road and the back half hanging over on to his side of the road.
He said while he was sliding, he saw the car which had allegedly struck him continue past on the left hand side of the road.
A number of police cars went past Dan shortly after. One stopped to speak with him.
Dan said it was lucky no cars were heading south at the time as he was in what he described as a "death rollercoaster".
He said a truck heading south had appeared towards the end of his ordeal, but had seen what was happening and slowed down.
Dan said his car had some damage to the spoiler and side skirting, but otherwise seemed okay. He planned to check for any chassis damage later in the day.
He said he was uninjured but was "real shaky" and angry, when it happened.
Police said just after 11am yesterday a known person with warrants was spotted in a vehicle in the Kensington area.
Police attempted to stop the vehicle before beginning a pursuit that continued north out of Whangārei on State Highway 1.
Spikes were deployed north of Hikurangi. The driver then continued on for several kilometres with the rear passenger tyre down to the rim, before stopping north of Puhipuhi Rd in the Hukerenui area.
The driver was allegedly above the speeds limits during parts of the pursuit, police said.
Police said the driver allegedly tried to run off when the vehicle stopped - leaving his female passenger behind - but was "caught pretty quickly". The passenger, who had remained with the vehicle, was also arrested.
Police said both occupants in the vehicle - the male driver and the female passenger - were wanted on warrants to arrest.
They are expected to appear in the Whangārei District Court today.
Police said support is being offered to Dan, and what had happened to him would be part of the investigation.
Police statistics show Northland tops the number of pursuits per month with 8.67 per 100,000 people, followed by Bay of Plenty with 7.81 and Counties/Manukau 7.67.