Police followed car before deadly crash

A station wagon which hit another car before smashing into a power pole, killing one of the two occupants, was being followed by police after being seen doing a "wheelie".

Stacy Edward Graham, 35, died and a second man was seriously injured in the crash at the intersection of State Highway 2 and Drumpeel Road in Otane, south of Hastings, about 6.50pm on Sunday.

Hastings Area Commander Inspector Dean Clifford said today Mr Graham had earlier been seen by a patrolling officer doing a "wheelie" on the main road into Otane.

He then turned right on to the highway and drove north toward Hastings "at speed".

The police officer turned to follow the car and activated the patrol car's red and blue flashing lights.

The officer then came across the two crashed cars further down the road.

Mr Clifford said there was no "pursuit" of the vehicle as the officer did not have time to activate one.

The police serious crash unit was investigating, and the Independent Police Conduct Authority had been notified due to the involvement of the police vehicle.

It was the second of two fatal crashes in Hawke's Bay within a few hours on Sunday.

Today police named a 25-year-old mother who was killed in a single car crash near Napier about midday on Sunday.

She was Hester Raharuhi, 25, from Hastings who was not wearing a seatbelt.

Her 2-year-old daughter, who was strapped in her car seat, escaped with moderate injuries.

The car veered off State Highway 50, between Hastings and Napier, and ended up in a ditch about midday on Sunday.




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