Grandfather tells of terrifying car chase at midnight by group of men in a vehicle on Northland road.

A terrified motorist says he was chased at high speed by an unknown vehicle and repeatedly rammed in an attempt to shunt him off the road.

Grandfather Gordon Sander was driving his ute to Northland from Auckland when the drama unfolded.

The 57-year-old rounded a bend and came across a vehicle parked in the middle of the road.

Assuming it had missed a driveway, he pulled over to the verge to let it reverse past, but suddenly noticed the vehicle's tail lights racing towards him.


"They were backing up and I'm thinking, 'Man, they're backing fast'. Then they turned their car towards me and tried to hit me. They had five or six goes trying to ram my car backwards, so I really just saw the boot."

Mr Sander drove on to the footpath to flee the scene.

"By then, they'd spun the car around and they had another go."

The incident happened about midnight on November 27 in Maungaturoto heading towards Paparoa.

Mr Sander said his fear quickly turned to survival mode and years of stockcar-racing experience kicked in.

"They followed me out towards Paparoa and I was doing about 140 to 150km/h to make sure I got away from them. Next minute, they had the nose of their car under the back of my ute and they started pushing me, trying to push me off the road.

"When that failed, they came up beside me and started slamming into the side of the deck to try and knock me off the road."

He tried to identify a number plate, but could not see one. As the vehicle came up beside him, he could hear young male voices shouting and urging their driver to get him off the road.


"As they overshot a little bit, I saw a Pakeha male in the front passenger seat. There were at least four, maybe five, in the car and the whole time they were doing this, they're yelling out: 'Get this so-and-so, get him now! Ram him now!'"

After several minutes, Mr Sander managed to gain a good distance from the group, before driving into a property, turning off his vehicle and lights, and calling police.

"They thought I must've turned off on that side road. And as I was talking to the policeman on the 111 call, I said, 'Can you hear that?' They were going up and down the road trying to find me. It was pretty scary."

Mr Sander waited about 30 minutes before continuing his journey and admitted panicking every time a car came into sight.

This week he read about a crash over the weekend on State Highway 16 in Helensville, in which two vehicles collided, leaving a woman in critical condition and her 2-year-old daughter with moderate injuries.

One of the vehicles is thought to have been rammed into the other lane by a white ute before the ute fled the scene.

Yesterday, police confirmed they had received a report from Mr Sander and were looking into it. There had been no similar incidents reported in the Northland region.

However, a Waitemata police district spokeswoman told the Herald: "We have had some reports from people who have seen a ute being driven recklessly in the Helensville and wider areas and our officers are now working through those reports."

Mr Sander hoped those responsible thought about the potential consequences and put themselves in his and his family's shoes.

"They call that an accident because you didn't try to do it. But these guys are trying to do it therefore, it's not an accident, it's on purpose."

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