Residents describe 'horrendous bang' as driver fleeing police smashes into innocent motorist, killing them

Residents of two Christchurch streets say they were woken early this morning by a "horrific" noise as a fleeing driver crashed into an innocent motorist this morning, killing him.

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Six people were taken to hospital after the early-morning smash in Papanui, Christchurch Source: 1 NEWS

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1 NEWS understands it was a car load of teenagers who fled from police. Source: 1 NEWS

One person is dead an five others are in hospital, one in a critical condition, after the crash at the intersection of Glandovey and Idris roads.

Residents said they awoke to the sound of the crash, and saw police pulling occupants from the cars.

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Superintendent Lane Todd said a Toyota fled police on Papanui Road in Christchurch before crashing into another car four minutes later. Source: 1 NEWS

Nigel Watts said he went outside to see what had happened and saw both cars heavily damaged, with "about four cop cars" at the scene.

Sarah Webster said "I feel sorry for the innocent people who were in the other car - it's terrible".

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A car full of people fleeing police in Christchurch crashed into an innocent motorist, killing them. Source: 1 NEWS

Sandra Francis described the fleeing vehicle as "a terrible mess", and said she thinks she saw police arrest the driver.

Police have said that the serious crash unit will investigate the scene, and that the Independent Police Conduct Authority will examine whether police made the right choices in pursuing the vehicle.