The oldest son of a mother-of-five killed by a woman fleeing a police check point says it's time to crush drink-drivers' cars.

Bradley Phillips said last night he was frustrated by the Government's eagerness to crush boy racers' vehicles, while letting drink-drivers keep theirs.

His mother, Penelope Rae Phillips, 52, died in Blenheim on Friday night after a 20-year-old woman smashed into her car.

The woman had been stopped at a police checkpoint 400m away. Police said she blew a positive result then sped away.

Officers scrambled to pursue, but the woman struck the white Nissan Penelope Phillips was driving. She died at the scene.

Bradley said Transport Minister Steven Joyce needed to come down harder on drink-drivers.

"Boy racers lose their licence for six months and now they've brought it in that they lose their vehicles. What happens to a drunk driver who gets caught three or four or five times? Not a lot.

"If it's all right to crush boy racers' cars, how about the same applies to a drink-driver who is using the car as a weapon?"

He said police should also be able to remove keys from vehicles as soon as the driver failed a breath test.

He and his siblings were devastated by the loss of their mother, who also has 10 grandchildren. "She'd just dropped her friend off at home... then she was coming home herself and some immature little female takes her life.

"There is no excuse, age is no excuse. It's not only the young ones that are doing it, it's also the older ones that are doing it."

His call has found partial support from Labour's law and order spokesman Clayton Cosgrove. He said offenders' cars should be seized and sold for parts, with the proceeds paying court or victims' costs.

"Take the car from them permanently so they can't repeat these sort of tragedies. Do it so the victim's family and other innocent taxpayers don't have to pay for courts costs."

Transport Minister Stephen Joyce would not be interviewed on the issue. A statement from his office said the Government was preparing to release new drink-driving laws.

Troy Stephens and Amanda Jones were the first witnesses at the scene of Friday's crash. They said the first officer who ran to help was saying "you silly, silly girl" as he approached the car that fled the checkpoint.

However, Jones said the driver was not badly hurt.

"She was on her cellphone when I saw her. I was just hoping that the [woman] in the white car was okay. I started crying. I was shaking. She was alive in the car and she died a bit after."

Witnesses said the crash followed a pursuit by police. But Police Association president Greg O'Connor said there was no chase. "The police never got to start the pursuit. By the time they got around the corner the crash had already happened.

"It's tragic enough when the person who tried to evade justice is killed. In this case it's worse because it's an innocent member of the public."

The surviving driver comes from a respected Blenheim family and is one of three children. Her father Peter Stubbs is an associate at Lundons Law, while her mother, Sandra Stubbs, is a nurse at Wairau Hospital, where her daughter was taken with minor injuries.

Sandra said her daughter had escaped relatively unharmed and was "very remorseful".

The couple are involved with charity, play tennis and attend the Blenheim Methodist Parish.

Marlborough Tennis Club president Bill Ritchie said he had met the Stubbs' children. "They're nice kids, and I don't know how this came to pass."

He talked with the driver's parents yesterday and they were "very much in shock".

The crash was a second blow for the Stubbs, Ritchie said. Their son had just recovered from a month at the Burwood Spinal Unit in Christchurch, where he was treated for neck and back injuries after a fall.

Marlborough deputy mayor Jenny Andrews said the community was shaken by the smash. "A young woman flees the police, hits someone - and yet she lives while the other one dies? It's a tragedy."

No charges had been laid last night but Tasman police district commander Gary Knowles said his officers were working on a criminal investigation.

A 36-year-old killed when his truck left State Highway 1 in Otago late on Friday is believed to have fallen asleep at the wheel.

Police said Regan Van Welie was heading home to Dunedin when the vehicle hit a 6m shipping container being used for storage at Allanton, near Mosgiel, at about 11.15pm.