Police have confirmed a woman killed on railway tracks near Ashburton had earlier been involved in a police pursuit.
The Rural Canterbury Area Commander, Inspector Dave Gaskin, says the woman was approached by police in Ashburton, but refused to stop and fled in her vehicle.
Mr Gaskin says a short chase was abandoned after it became unsafe.
Police say the woman was killed about 15 minutes later near the community of Tinwald.
They say reports of a vehicle being hit by a freight train are not correct.
They say although a vehicle was next to the tracks, it isn't believed to be directly related to the death.
Officers are examining the scene and trying to identify the woman.
No-one else is being sought in relation to the incident, which has been referred to the Independent Police Conduct Authority and the Coroner.