A man has admitted causing the death of another man in a drug-fuelled police chase that ended in a crash near Taupō.
Meiha Teepa was high on both methamphetamine and cannabis when he fled from police near a fatal crash cordon on Broadlands Rd before crashing his car nearby and killing his passenger in January.
In the Rotorua District Court on Wednesday, Teepa pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death, driving while his licence was suspended or revoked and failing to stop.
Details in the summary of facts provided to the Rotorua Daily Post stated Teepa was disqualified on December 20, 2019, from driving for three months.
Just over a month later, on January 24, Teepa was spotted driving at speed down Broadlands Rd in Taupō about 1.15am.
Less than two hours earlier, there had been a fatal crash on the same road and an unmarked police car was heading to the scene when Teepa illegally overtook at 140km/h on double yellow lines, the summary said.
The officer in the car noticed Teepa was heading in the direction of the cordon on the corner of Broadlands Rd and Centennial Drive at speed and began following him while alerting officers at the scene.
Teepa increased his speed again to more than 140km/h and disappeared from the officer's view.
As he approached the roadblock, he took a right turn on to Centennial Drive towards Taupō.
Another police car caught up to Teepa and signalled him to stop to which he accelerated even more.
About 900m on, Teepa began to approach the site of road sealing works on Centennial Drive that was signposted at 50km/h.
There were multiple signs warning of the roadworks and the reduced speed limit on that stretch of road.
The road was dry, but as he came around the left-hand bend, he lost control and slipped from the road.
He hit a fence before coming to a stop in a paddock.
Officers arrived within 30 seconds.
On arrival, they could see Teepa and a passenger trapped in the car.
Teepa was in the driver's seat, while the passenger was positioned "unusually" in the rear of the car and the front seat was reclined. He was not wearing a seatbelt.
The occupant had sustained critical injuries including a deep neck laceration and compound fractures and died at the scene before an ambulance arrived.
Analysis of the car and the occupants found Teepa's blood on the car door and both methamphetamine and cannabis in his bloodstream.
Teepa told police at the scene the deceased occupant had been the driver and that he had been sleeping at the time.
He has been remanded in custody and will be sentenced on November 20.