Two dead after crash following police chase

Two young people have died after a car crash following a police chase in Palmerston North today.

Police said the 15-year-old driver of the Subaru which crashed soon after 1.30pm died in hospital this afternoon. His passenger, believed to be a 12-year-old girl, died at the scene.

Central District Commander Superintendent Sue Schwalger said the 15-year-old was believed to be breaching his bail conditions.

"Enquiries this afternoon have revealed that the Subaru was stolen," she said.

"At about 1.30pm an officer saw the wanted Subaru being driven on Monrad St.

"Police signalled for the vehicle to pull over and the driver failed to stop.

"The Subaru continued driving, travelling onto Pioneer Highway and crashed into a ditch hitting a power pole at the intersection of Shirriffs Rd.

"Sadly the 15-year-old driver died later this afternoon in hospital. His passenger, believed to be a 12-year-girl, died at the scene.

"A second passenger, a 15-year-old female, who was the back seat passenger, remains in Palmerston North Hospital in a serious condition."

Schwalger said it was "an incredibly sad time for the families of the two young people who have died".

"Family liaison officers are working closely with the families and Victim Support has been offered," she said.

"Our staff always assess the risk of whether or not to pursue a driver who fails to stop for Police, and continue to monitor risk factors throughout.

"We take these decisions very seriously, and need to maintain a balance between ensuring public safety, and upholding the law.

"The last thing any police officer wants to have happen when they are on shift is for any incident to end in a fatality, these incidents are devastating for all those involved.

"The officer involved is receiving support.

"Three investigations will now take place, the Serious Crash Unit, an internal Police investigation and an investigation carried out by the Independent Police Conduct Authority."

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