Family and friends of a Hamilton man are mourning his loss after he died while fleeing police.

Police are yet to confirm his identity, but friends and family on social media have named the 18-year-old as father-of-two Conrad Tuhua.

Police said Tuhua failed to stop for them and they chased him briefly on the city's River Rd about 3am yesterday.

However, less than a minute later, Tuhua lost control rounding a bend and crashed into a tree just north of Oakley Ave.

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One relative of Tuhua posted: "Our deepest condolences going to the Tuhua whanau for the lost of your son, your brother, your nephew, your cousin, your partner and a father, so young and your life was taken to early FTP Rest Easy #ConradTuhua much love to Aunty Robin and uncle Johnny and the rest of the whanau".

Another was annoyed at the police for pursuing him, writing: "Condolences to our Tuhua whanau so young so soon Rest In Paradise #Conrad Tuhua I'm still saying FTP could of prevented this if they actually eased off a bit and aunty uncle and whanau wouldn't be so lost".

Another wrote, "R.I.P cousy conrad, gone way to soon, way to young all the love to our Tuhua whanau & to your babys & mrs my cous, sad as to wake up to this", and "Much love going out to our Tuhua whanau from us here in K.Bay Coromandel... Fly high in Paradise ma lil cuzi Conrad, till we meet again."

A River Rd resident who heard the crash, told the Herald yesterday he was annoyed that police gave chase in such wet conditions on a road known to be slippery.

"He's probably been hooning, I've got no doubt about that, but why did they chase the guy in the first place and why didn't they just back off? It was 3am. What did the guy do wrong? I mean he's only 18 years old. He doesn't know how to drive and they drove him into that corner where it's slippery."

The man said he heard a crunch and "knew straight away someone was being chased and that they were dead".

"It wasn't a thud, it was a crunch."

A police spokesperson said the pursuit "lasted less than a minute".

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"The car was signalled to stop by Police due to the manner of driving.

"As is standard, the crash will be investigated by the Serious Crash Unit and will also be referred to the IPCA. It would therefore be inappropriate for us to provide any further comment at this stage."