Driver returned twice before fatal crash into station

A tarpaulin covers a car after it hit the Timaru Police Station last night. Photo: NZ Herald
A tarpaulin covers a car after it hit the Timaru Police Station last night. Photo: NZ Herald
A man has died after his car crashed "at speed" into the Timaru Police Station, where he had returned twice late last night. 

Police say the man was first seen driving erratically in front of the station about 10.45pm, where officers signalled for him to stop, but he drove off at speed. 

Aoraki Area Commander Inspector Vicki Walker said the man was then pursued "for a brief period" before the vehicle returned to outside the station. The man was to spoken to from inside his vehicle before driving off again.

"By this stage police held concerns for the man’s welfare", she said.

"About 11.30pm, the vehicle has been located on Barnard Street and its tyres spiked in an attempt to stop it. The vehicle then drove back towards the Timaru Police Station and struck the building at speed."

The man died at the scene. 

Photos from the scene show a badly crumpled vehicle under a blue tarpaulin, while the corner of the station has been damaged.

NZ Herald photojournalist George Heard said a local man had told him he heard tyres screeching and police sirens all around the town for almost an hour.

The Serious Crash Unit has examined the scene and inquiries into the incident were continuing, Insp Walker said. 

"Police will be working to support the man’s family today, along with our Timaru Police whānau."

The station would remain open today. 

The man’s death would be referred to the Coroner, and watchdog the Independent Police Conduct Authority had been notified.

1 dead, 3 hurt after Christchurch crash

One person has died and three others are badly hurt after a car hit a power pole in Christchurch.

The crash happened just after 1am on Greywacke Rd in the suburb of Harewood.

The injured people were taken to hospital, police said.

Inquiries are under way.

- ODT Online and NZ Herald