Two people are dead after a car smash involving a car being chased by police.

A third person suffered injuries after the crash on one of
Christchurch's most notorious street-racing roads.

Paramedics were called to the intersection of Fitzgerald Ave and
Gloucester St just after 8pm.

About an hour later, firefighters held a blue tarpaulin around one of
the vehicles.

Police told reporters at the scene a patrol car had seen a car with one occupant travelling 89kmh in a 50kmh zone.

The driver failed to stop when signalled, the police gave chase for "about 30 seconds" but the car travelled through a red light, colliding with another vehicle. The driver of the second vehicle, a 73-year-old man, as well as his passenger, a woman believed to be aged in her 60s, were both killed.

The driver who was being chased is thought to have received only a head cut.

Police said the pursued car was not registered and had no warrant of fitness, the driver was disqualified and well known to Christchurch police.

"Police were duty bound to stop this driver. Travelling nearly 90kph along Ferry Road is a recipe for disaster. He could have killed anyone at any stage," police area commander Inspector Malcolm Johnston said.

A witness, Makoto Kobayashi told the Press that the pursued car was "really speeding", causing both cars to roll when it crashed into another vehicle.

"Blame for this tragedy lies entirely with this driver. He was signalled to stop and he should have stopped." Mr Johnston said he had spoken with the officers involved and they were devastated.

- NZ Herald Staff, NZPA