11 Mar 2009

Police cleared over fatal car chase

12:18 pm on 11 March 2009

Police have been cleared over a vehicle chase which ended in a death - but the Independent Police Complaints Authority is reviewing the current policy on pursuits.

Vianne Shead, 18, later after a car she was a passenger in, crashed near Timaru on 9 February last year.

A police car had pursued the vehicle for 17 minutes after it sped off when an officer tried to stop the driver for a breath test. It crashed after the police abandoned the pursuit.

Justice Lowell Goddard says police acted lawfully within their policy.

But, she says, it is a concern that a pursuit from a routine failure to stop should have such a tragic outcome.

Justice Goddard says the authority is now reviewing whether current policy gives enough guidance over what justifies commencing and continuing a pursuit.