An innocent motorist is dead after a police pursuit ended with a fleeing driver crashing into their vehicle in Christchurch.
Five others in the fleeing vehicle were injured in the crash after a police pursuit lasting four minutes early today.
Canterbury Metro Area Commander Superintendent Lane Todd said: "This is an absolute tragedy and a horrific outcome."
The pursuit began when a Toyota vehicle failed to stop for police on Papanui Rd about 4am.
Police pursued the vehicle for four minutes through residential streets, Todd said.
"At the intersection of Glandovey Rd and Idris Rd the Toyota collided with a Hyundai driven by a member of the public.
"The driver and sole occupant of the Hyundai sustained critical injuries and was transported to hospital where they sadly died.
"There were five occupants in the Toyota. Initial indications are that one of the occupants has sustained critical injuries and the other four serious to moderate injuries."
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Nearby resident Nigel Watts said he was asleep when the fatal crash happened and he woke to a big bang.
"We came downstairs to see what was going on and a car was surrounded by police cars, so they were obviously chasing it."
Watts, who has lived in the area for 12 years, said there hadn't been any other crashes on the road, that he knew of.
"We've had cars screaming up and down here before but never anything like this."
A St John spokesman said six people were initially taken to hospital including two in a critical condition, three seriously injured and one person with moderate injuries.
"We have no indication who was from what vehicle or age or gender of the patients."
Five ambulances and two St John first response vehicles were at the scene.
The Serious Crash Unit is examining the scene and the Independent Police Conduct Authority will be notified, police say.
The intersection of Glandovey Rd and Idris Rd will be closed for a number of hours with diversions in place.
More to come