A person is dead after the driver of a vehicle fled police early this morning, police say.

A second person in the vehicle when it crashed in Oamaru has been flown by helicopter to hospital.

Police were told a vehicle was being driven dangerously on Hampden-Palmerston Rd, Waimate, about 6.30am, Otago Coastal Area Commander, Inspector Marty Gray, said.

"Shortly before 7am, a police unit spotted the vehicle in the Alma area and attempted to stop it.


"The driver fled from police. Officers followed for a short time before abandoning the incident."

The vehicle was then found crashed at the intersection of Severn and Wansbeck Sts in Oamaru, Gray said.

One of the vehicle's occupants died at the scene, and a second occupant was transported to hospital by helicopter.

"Our officers go out every day looking to make the community safer - this is the absolute last thing any officer wants to see happen on their shift.

"It is an absolutely tragic outcome. We would always advise that anyone who is signalled to stop by police should simply stop."

Police wanted to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident, call 105 and quote event number P041408802.

The officers involved in the incident would be supported, Gray said.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority would also be told.