A child has been taken to hospital with leg injuries after a car fleeing police flipped in a drain in the Bay of Plenty this morning.

The vehicle, which was involved in a brief chase through Opotiki just after 9am, crashed at an intersection and ended up on its roof, trapping a young passenger inside the wreck.

A police spokeswoman said a child had to be freed by firefighters.

The BayTrust Rescue Helicopter was sent to the scene at approximately 9.30am.


Police, Fire Service and St John Ambulance all attended after the car ended up inverted in a ditch next to the road.

"A 4-year-old local boy was trapped for a short period then airlifted to Rotorua Hospital in a comfortable condition with leg injuries," said BayTrust Rescue Helicopter chief pilot Barry Vincent.

The police spokeswoman said a woman seated in the front of the car was also helped from the overturned vehicle.

The crashed car's male driver who had earlier failed to stop for police was arrested at the scene.

It is the third police chase in recent days after a man was killed in Manukau on Saturday night and a 13-year-old was allegedly found to be driving a car that fled police in Hamilton this morning.