The learner driver, just 17, says he was egged on by his mates. To lead police on a high-speed chase so they could film the action.

They'd spent the night cruising the city streets. Just by driving after 10pm, drinking alcohol, and carrying passengers, the teenager behind the wheel was breaking the law under the conditions of his learner licence.

And when a police car signalled for him to pull over just before 4am on October 22 this year, he took off.

But when he ran a red light, at what he later estimated was 100km/h, and T-boned an innocent motorist, 64-year-old Kenneth McCaul who would die from his injuries, the fun stopped.


The pursuit had lasted four minutes and four seconds.

This morning, the teen Canterbury driver, who cannot yet be named, entered a guilty plea to a charge of manslaughter at the High Court in Christchurch.

He also admitted a charge of reckless driving causing injury to one of his backseat passengers, also aged 17, who, the court heard, is currently in an induced coma. He has a broken neck "and his prognosis is not yet known".

The car driven by the fleeing teen driver.
The car driven by the fleeing teen driver.

Justice Rachel Dunningham remanded him on bail for sentencing next month.

Just how the tragedy unfolded, can be reported for the first time today.

That night, the teenager had been driving four of his young friends around the streets of Christchurch in a Toyota Caldina, according to the summary of facts document.

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At around 3.58am, a marked police patrol car spotted him, did a u-turn, and parked on the opposite side of the road facing the teen.


When the youngster drove past, the police officer did another u-turn and followed him along Papanui Rd.

As they approached the intersection of Langdons Rd, the police officer activated his red and blue lights for the teen driver to pull over.

However, he accelerated away, soon reaching speeds of 90km/h in the 50km/h zone.

Going into the city, he drove through a red light and past the Casino. He's continued speeding through town before a second marked patrol car joined the pursuit.

As he drove down Glandovey Rd, he went through a red light at the Idris Rd intersection and T-boned a Hyundai saloon driven by McCaul.

Kenneth McCaul was the innocent motorist killed in the crash.
Kenneth McCaul was the innocent motorist killed in the crash.

McCaul was driving to work early to secure a car park and had planned to sleep in his car before starting his shift at Christchurch Hospital.

The front of the teen's Toyota hit McCaul's car in the passenger side between the front and back wheels, shunting it across the road and into a stone wall. It bounced off the wall and came to rest on the edge of the footpath.

The badly damaged teen's car came to rest about 30m up the road.

McCaul was rushed to hospital but died a short time later, police say.

All four of his passengers were taken to hospital with injuries.

The teen driver, who has previously appeared before the court, later told police that his friends were encouraging him to flee from the police, while further claiming a front seat passenger was recording the chase on his cellphone.

Kenneth McCaul's vehicle.
Kenneth McCaul's vehicle.

He admitted breaching his learner licence conditions by consuming alcohol, carrying passengers, and driving after 10pm. He also estimated that he reached speeds of up to 110km/h through the city streets to escape police, and that he estimated he was doing 100km/h at the time of the crash.

Interim name suppression for the teenager will be argued before he is sentenced on December 16.