The scene of the crash. Photo / Kurt Bayer
The motorcyclist killed while fleeing police in
Christchurch today has left behind a young son, his distraught
Police have named him as Darren Lee Wilson (26), of New
The incident began about midday when an unmarked police car
was travelling away from New Brighton on Hawke St.
The motorcyclist rode past the unmarked police car at speed
and on seeing the car accelerated towards Marine Parade.
The two officers then saw him travel through a stop sign at
speed, police said.
They made a U-turn and activated their lights and siren and
had just reached the intersection with Marine Parade when
they saw the motorcyclist, about 150-250m further down the
road, crash into a vehicle travelling in the same direction
but turning right into a carpark.
The red Nissan, with two elderly occupants who received minor
injuries, had indicated to turn right into the car-park of
New Brighton Surf Lifesaving Club.
As they were turning in, the rider hit their vehicle and was
thrown some 10m, police said.
The male motorcyclist, in his 20s, died at the scene.
Friends came to the scene after the crash today. One was seen
being taken to the rear of a black hearse by a police
officer, where he identified the body.
The man won't be named until police have informed next of
One man, who did not wish to be identified, said he heard the
loud "thump" of the crash.
He rushed from the surf club car-park to see the aftermath of
the scene. He was shaken up by what he saw, and was surprised
that there was not more damage to the bike.
Kathryn Baker, 67, was in her garage when she heard a siren
followed by a loud "bang".
"By the time I got out the door, the car was there and the
bike was lying a bit up the road with a guy lying on the
Another witness, who heard the crash, said the man was lying
motionless with his body on the footpath and feet on the
Two uniformed police officers were giving CPR, witnesses say.
Dennis Baker said the rider "must've flown over top of the
"The police officers said he was alive, that his heart was
beating," the 72-year old said.
"I thought that was OK, but later we heard he had died. I was
The Bakers said the occupants of the car looked shaken but
otherwise all right. Other neighbours brought them chairs to
Mrs Baker was saddened by the loss of life.
"All because he went through a stop sign eh. Foolish."
A flatbed truck with a crane removed the bike and car from
the scene about 3pm.
The bike smashed directly into the driver's door, causing
significant damage and smashing the front windscreen.
Firefighters swept glass off the road before the cordon was
Friends at Keppel St refused to comment, asking for privacy.
One man said he was carrying the dead biker's young son and
asked to be left alone to grieve.
Others were in tears and being consoled.
Police were speaking to witnesses and investigating the cause
of the crash as well as carrying out a review of the actions
of the police officers involved.
"On the face of the information before me at the moment, I am
satisfied where we are at the moment but we need a lot more
information to come forward," said Superintendent Andy
McGregor at the scene.
It was not yet known how fast he was going, but Mr McGregor
said witnesses said he was "travelling very quickly".
"The fact is this person was speeding, breaking the law. If
the rider had actually stopped he'd be alive today," he said.
"We are speaking to a lot of witnesses at the moment to
ascertain what exactly happened."
The police officers involved are "very upset and shaken up".