Two young women whose car was clipped by a stolen vehicle moments before it slammed into another car and flipped said it was like something from the movies.
The male driver of the stolen car had been fleeing police when he hit road spikes and lost control, slamming into another car at a South Auckland intersection.
The driver had to be cut free from the wreckage and was taken to Middlemore Hospital with serious injuries.
The women - who asked only to be identified by their given names, Lucy and Tangimama - were driving south on Roscommon Rd before 1pm when a black car pursued by police sped out of Wordsworth Rd and side-swiped them.
They pulled over but the sole man in the fleeing car sped on along Roscommon Rd before turning and coming back towards where police had laid road spikes.
"He was going fast. He saw the spikes too but that didn't slow him down," said Tangimama.
The car appeared to try to overtake another car but crashed into it. "It was a big bang and then [the fleeing] car flipped."
"We have only seen that in a movie or video," Lucy said. "I never thought we would see it in real life. It was way more scary."
The two people inside the second car received moderate and minor injuries.
Inspector Kai Chao said police had earlier been conducting "high visibility traffic enforcement" operations in the area and saw the stolen car going at high speed.
When it failed to stop, police launched a pursuit that lasted two minutes, he said.
"The offending vehicle got spiked and lost control and crashed into an innocent vehicle," he said.
The police patrol car that assisted with the pursuit by laying road spikes, just happened to be in the area, he said.
Serious crash investigators were now working to determine the cause of the crash.
St John confirmed three people were taken to Middlemore Hospital as a result of the crash.
A shop owner on Roscommon Rd said they didn't see the crash but heard police and fire sirens rushing to the crash scene.
Facebook users on community pages have posted messages alerting others to the crash.