One dead after driver flees police before crashing on SH1 at Horowhenua, road reopens but drivers told to expect delays

A man who fled police after being pulled over has died in a subsequent two-car crash in Horowhenua this afternoon.

Shortly before the crash, police signalled for a vehicle to stop, and an officer approached the vehicle to speak to the driver.

But the driver then fled the scene and continued driving at speed south along State Highway 1, police said in a statement.

Police did not pursue the driver, but a short time later came across the scene of the crash at the intersection of SH1 and Kuku Beach Rd near Manakau shortly before 1.30pm.

The driver of the vehicle police had stopped died at the scene.

The driver of the other vehicle appears uninjured but has been transported by ambulance to hospital for observation, police said.

The road was closed while the scene was examined.

NZTA said the road had reopened as of 4.30pm, but drivers could expect delays in both directions.

Police officers were last year instructed to change their approach to fleeing drivers, only pursuing the drivers if there is a threat before the start of the pursuit and if there is a need for the driver to be apprehended immediately.

Figures show there were more than 30,000 police pursuits initiated between 2008 and 2019, resulting in hundreds of crashes and the deaths of 79 people.

They also show pursuits are most likely to happen overnight between 10pm and 6am, and crashes are more likely at night.

The majority of fleeing drivers are young males, many of whom are driving stolen cars.

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