Teen who died in crash after Wellington police pursuit was in the car's boot
A teenager who died in the boot of a stolen car that crashed in Wellington after it fled from police has been named.
Bailey Patmore, 15, from Cannons Creek in Porirua died at the scene and was one of six people in the car, police said.
A police dog handler had earlier spotted the small hatchback driving north on State Highway 1, near the Terrace tunnel entrance, at high speed shortly before 3am, Superintendent Sam Hoyle said.
The vehicle had been reported stolen from Petone the night before.Advertisement Advertise with NZME.
The officer gave chase when the car failed to stop, before it crashed on SH1 south of the Tawa off-ramp.
Five others - four teenagers and one 21-year-old, all from Porirua - were taken to Wellington Hospital with minor injuries.
Supt Hoyle said it was after the crash that the pursuing officer learnt there had been six people in the car, including one in the boot.
"This is an incredibly sad time for the family of the teen who died, and May 19 will never have the same meaning for them again," he said.
"Police are with the family today and will continue to provide support."
There will be a Serious Crash Unit investigation and internal police investigation into the incident, while the Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified.
Supt Hoyle said officers and staff at communication centres constantly make risk assessments when involved in pursuits.
"The motivations for fleeing are many and varied and it's hard at times to understand the mentality of fleeing drivers â" we just wish they would pull over," he said.
It follows the death of innocent motorist and Nelson mum Carmen Yanko, 53, in March when her car was hit head-on by another vehicle driving on the wrong side of the road as it fled from police.
The second car was carrying two men, who also died in the collision.
Yanko's death brought about an outpouring of grief and led Automobile Association motoring affairs general manager Mike Noon to say banning pursuits was "something we should look at and see how it is working in other conditions".
On average, about 10 drivers flee police every day. Between October 2016 and September last year, seven deaths and 552 crashes were recorded.
Police pursuits have been banned in some Australian states and American juridisdictions.
Mr Noon called for New Zealand to study results from Queensland where state police are not allowed to chase a vehicle unless the driver was involved in murder or posed an imminent threat to someone's life.
By contrast, New Zealand police are allowed to use their judgment when a driver fails to stop and tries to elude them.
They are supposed to give up the chase if it becomes dange rous.
Two more people also died on New Zealand roads last night - a teenager on a bicycle in Auckland, and a person in a single-car crash in Canterbury.Source: Google News