Man dies after car hits power pole

Charges are likely for a driver involved in a high speed crash which killed a 31-year-old Waipukurau man near Dannevirke at the weekend, police say.

His car was clocked at 124 km/h in a 50 km/h zone moments before the fatal accident.

Daniel Troy Leslie, a passenger in the vehicle and one of three occupants, was killed when the Holden Commodore struck a power pole on the corner of State Highway 2 and Makirikiri Road, just a few hundred metres south of Dannevirke, about 2.40pm on Saturday.

He was in the front passenger seat.

Police said as the car left Dannevirke, a police unit caught the Commodore on their radar doing 124 km/h in a 50 km/h zone.

The officer activated lights and a siren but was forced to wait for passing traffic before doing a U-turn and pursuing it.

Acting Central District Commander Inspector Pat Handcock said by the time the patrol car began the pursuit, the Commodore was far out of sight.

"The officer has driven about 1km down the road which enters a 70 km/h zone. They have then located the vehicle which had hit a power pole on the opposite side of the road."

Inspector Handcock said police and Fire Service staff gave first aid to Mr Leslie and the other two occupants but the 31-year-old died at the scene.

St John Tararua district manager Greg Cottrell said Mr Leslie was dead when paramedics arrived.

The driver and other passenger were taken by ambulance to Palmerston North Hospital.

He said one arrived at the emergency department in a serious condition and the other had moderate injuries.

Police said preliminary indications suggested speed was a factor and the driver had failed to take a bend in the road. Police also believed alcohol may have been another factor.

"The Serious Crash Unit is continuing to investigate the crash and charges against the driver are likely.

"Officers are also in the process of speaking to witnesses including the driver and rear seat passenger of the Commodore," Inspector Handcock said.

- Sam Hurley of Hawke's Bay Today

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