Saraya Waerea was at her mother's house on Kawaha Point Rd this morning when she saw a group of police cars gathering on the street.
Within 10 seconds of the officers trying to put out spikes, a speeding, stolen grey car hurtled past towards the railway tracks.
Police now say they were chasing the car after it failed to stop on Taharangi St, Koutu, at 9.19am.
They believe it was stolen in a robbery that morning.
The 25-year-old saw police coming at the car from both ends of the street, with sirens blaring.
She said then the car tried to do a U-turn, but the driver lost control and the car went on its nose.
"The vehicle went high, it somersaulted higher than the crossing signs and it rolled to the corner by the power pole ... I have never seen anything like that in my life, especially seeing it with my own eyes."
"Then the dude jumped out of the (car) and ran up the next driveway ... He ran away and left his mate there."
The driver is still on the run and a passenger was initially trapped with moderate injuries.
Waerea said she thought the single passenger was dead and he had to be removed out of the back of the car by emergency services.
"He had blood coming out of his head".
She said police dogs later arrived at the scene, as did firefighters and electricians checking power poles.
"I just thought 'oh what a morning'."
Mal McGregor was walking his dog nearby when he heard the sirens and turned around.
"The car went bang crash. It started somersaulting just before the train tracks."
Mathew Place resident Mark Tiopora said the car "went up into the air and rolled four times, then the driver got out and ran".
About 20 neighbours from the street, including parents and children, were at the scene this morning as police took evidence.
A police spokeswoman said motorists were asked to avoid the area.