A man has died in a serious crash in South Auckland this afternoon.

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Preston and Ormiston roads, in Otara, just before 2.30pm.

Police say the man is aged 57 and not elderly, as previously reported to media.

Inspector Shawn Rutene, of Auckland Police, said officers noticed a man driving erratically and started a pursuit when he failed to stop for them.


"A short time later, the vehicle crashed into a building,'' Rutene said.

Police said there was a possibility the driver may have suffered a medical condition, but officers were still investigating the accident.

Missy Tusini, 28, heard a bang and looked out the window to see the grey car wedged behind a forklift in the neighbouring car park.

"It didn't make sense how it was placed. It was freaky. Weird things happen around here but not like this."

"The car was so squashed and stuck in between the bin and the forklift, and it was facing toward the road. It must have turned around and ended up facing the road. The boot was smashed up."

"The police were there instantly, but I didn't know it was a police chase. The police station's just up the road so I thought they were just coming past."

Ama Polevia, 24, also lives next door. She heard sirens, then minutes later "a loud bang". "It was a massive bang, everyone in my house woke up."

She ran out and saw the crumpled car, with a police car next to it. There was blood on the ground and the driver wasn't moving, she said.


More police quickly pulled up.

"The police were trying to get him to answer back. When he didn't they had to pull him out the back passenger door, I think one of the cops broke the window to get him out."

Fire and ambulance then arrived at the scene.

"The cops did CPR on him but they couldn't bring him back."

Polevia said the car park is normally full of kids, playing and riding their bikes.

"They're here every day. It's so lucky, I'm so surprised they weren't here today."

Pastor Vai Tuialii, 46, was stunned that none of his congregation had been injured in the accident, which saw the car ploughing into the same building where his church meets.

He's pieced together what happened after talking to his church members. He says the car ploughed through the fence, hitting a tow truck some 10m away and bouncing off sideways into his van, which was parked outside the church.

The van and the truck have both been shunted several feet by the impact.

The car then headed up a ramp, ripping a chain link fence out of the ground as it went, flew several metres through the air into the building's aluminium wall and then fell about three metres onto the concrete below, at some point turning 180 degrees. Part of the car's red tail light is still embedded in the dented wall.

Tuialii said he thanked God that no one in the church had been hurt.

"It's so lucky. If my car weren't here it might have gone straight into the front room. There were about six members of the church, old men and women, in there playing cards and dominos."

The church has about 23 families, and every day their children meet there after school, for family activities or just to play. The carpark is normally full of children playing.

"Today is the only day nobody was there. There were kids here in the morning, aged maybe 6 to 9 years old, but they had left about midday.

"I'm so thankful. It just shows the power of prayer." He said he and church members often walk around and pray over the car park.

A witness told the Herald earlier there were police, fire trucks and an ambulance.

A large sheet had been put up and the incident affected traffic in the area.

The Serious Crash Unit is investigating.