An elderly woman is still in a critical condition two days after being innocently caught up in a police chase, while the alleged drug mule cops were chasing has been released from hospital.
The silver BMW that allegedly fled police and ended up in a serious crash on Yaldhurst Rd in Christchurch on Monday was driving a suspected drug smuggler.
NZME. News Service understands that the police were acting on information that the 32-year old female passenger had allegedly sneaked drugs internally through Christchurch International Airport.
Sources say police saw the woman being picked up at the airport by the BMW.
Officers tailing the car began a pursuit at about 4.45pm after it allegedly backed into another vehicle at the junction of Wairakei Rd and Johns Rd, just outside the airport.
The vehicle fled police before ramming through an armed police roadblock on Yaldhurst Rd and colliding head-on with another car, a Honda Jazz causing injuries to the elderly occupants.
The alleged drug mule was originally detained under police guard at Christchurch Hospital under the Misuse of Drugs Amendment Act.
Today, a spokeswoman for the Canterbury DHB said the woman had since been released.
It's not clear whether she remains in police custody.
The alleged driver, Graham Theo Payne, 55, appeared at Christchurch District Court yesterday facing one charge of failing to stop when followed by police under lights and three charges of reckless driving causing injury.
Inquiries are continuing into the second passenger, a 40 year-old man, who has also now been discharged from hospital.
Meanwhile, the three elderly victims from the Honda Jazz car remain in hospital today.
The CDHB spokeswoman said an 80-year old woman, who was the front seat passenger, is critical in intensive care.
A 70-year-old woman, and the driver, 79, are both in stable conditions.
Canterbury Police crime services manager Detective Inspector Virginia Le Bas is overseeing the police investigation.
Canterbury District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said yesterday: "The pursuit and crash has been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority and a senior investigator from outside Canterbury district will have oversight of an internal investigation into police, practices and procedure."