A resident of a Sunnyvale cul-de-sac has described how he and another person narrowly escaped being run over by a driver of a stolen vehicle as their children watched in terror.

It comes as the car involved, which later crashed after a police pursuit in West Auckland, was reported to police for erratic driving four hours before a pursuit.

The vehicle, a red Mazda Demio, was identified by police as a stolen vehicle around 11.45pm last night.

Police attempted to pull the driver over until the person fled and a pursuit began.

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The chase was abandoned, and soon after the vehicle was found crashed into a Henderson property near the intersection of Lincoln and Triangle Rds.

Resident Wasi Ali said the car was driving at speeds around 80km/h down Sunshine Blvd around 7.30pm, four hours before the chase.

He and his wife were alerted to the car on their street by the noise of a screaming car engine and burning tyres.

Resident Wasi Ali said the car was driving at speeds around 80km/h down Sunshine Blvd around 7.30pm, four hours before the police pursuit.
Resident Wasi Ali said the car was driving at speeds around 80km/h down Sunshine Blvd around 7.30pm, four hours before the police pursuit.

Their 7-year-old son was riding his bike on the street at the time with a few other neighbourhood kids.

His wife, after hearing the noise, thought the worst; that someone had been hit. But that was not the case.

"They were out after dinner, they cycle through the roads with the parents around walking with the toddlers.

"We went outside and there were a couple of guys in this red Demio doing a drag race.

"Our street is an oval street and it is only one exit and entrance.

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"The kids were quite frightened, gladly none of the kids were on the road at the time."

Fearing for the safety of the children, he went out onto the road to try stop the car.

"I was in the middle of the road and he went on the footpath and almost ran me over."

"It was a hell of a speed. I would say there were going 80km/h easily."

The driver of a stolen Mazda Demio crashed into a tree at a Henderson property. Photo / SNPA
The driver of a stolen Mazda Demio crashed into a tree at a Henderson property. Photo / SNPA

Police confirmed they received reports of a speeding vehicle on Sunshine Blvd in Sunnyvale about 7.20pm.

"It appears children were playing in the cul-de-sac at the time but there were no reported injuries.

"The vehicle is thought to be the same one involved in a fleeing-driver incident shortly before midnight."

Another neighbour said he heard the commotion while doing work at the back of his home.

"He just came around the corner I heard him slam on the brakes. Then the car started reversing.

His children were out playing on the road as well.

He said it appeared the driver entered the street not knowing there was only one entrance.

He went out to the road and saw the car narrowly avoid hitting yet another neighbour who was on the footpath.

"He cut the corner and came up on the footpath and nearly hit him."

Two people were assisting police with their inquiries in relation to the incident, a spokesman said.

The findings of a joint review of pursuit policy by police and the Independent Police Conduct Authority are due to be released on Friday.