Speaking at a press conference at Masterton police station in the wake of the deaths yesterday, Detective Senior Sergeant Barry Bysouth urged drivers not to try to flee from police.

"Please stop, if police ask you to pull over, please stop -- nothing is worth this tragic loss of life."

He said police had recognised the Honda Civic driven by the teens as stolen and had attempted to pull it over outside the Masterton Warehouse.

"Police engaged the vehicle by putting on the blue and red lights in an attempt to pull this vehicle over, the vehicle responded by immediately accelerating away from the police at a dangerous speed."


CCTV footage and radio recordings showed police had abandoned the pursuit within seconds, Mr Bysouth said.

Sparks could be seen flying from underneath the car as it landed on the road after hitting a series of speed bumps at speed, he said.

"I have absolute faith that my staff, upon identifying that the vehicle was driving dangerously, stopped immediately. It's quite clear from the recordings."

CCTV footage showed the car going past the Countdown supermarket and a patrol car following with no flashing lights about 20 seconds later.