10 Oct 2013

Young learner driver caused accident in which he died - IPCA

3:19 pm on 10 October 2013

A report is describing the death of a young learner driver after a police pursuit as a tragedy he caused himself.

Rocky Joe Kohatu Hepi, 17, was driving a stolen car when he was thrown from it after crashing into a stone wall in Hamilton in February.

The report from the Independent Police Conduct Authority says officers started the pursuit when Rocky Hepi was seen driving without his headlights on.

The authority says the chase lasted 43 seconds.

It was called off because the police considered the pursuit unsafe, due to Mr Hepi driving erratically and speeding.

The authority says it was a tragic incident caused by Mr Hepi's own actions, and has found no breaches of police policy.

Rocky Hepi died at the scene from his injuries.

His two teenage passengers were also injured.

The authority is continuing discussions with police about a general review of the pursuit guidelines.