Three elderly women have been seriously injured after a car pursued by police in Palmerston North crashed into their vehicle and caught fire. The driver and passenger in the fleeing car were not hurt.
Police say a Subaru being driven dangerously and erratically refused to pull over on Thursday afternoon.
Manawatu area commander Inspector Pat Hancock said the chase began when the driver sped away from police, reaching speeds of up to 120km/h in a 50km/h zone.
During the short pursuit the Subaru overtook a bus on Vogel Street and crashed into a Mazda backing out of a driveway.
The Subaru caught fire but the 22-year-old driver and his 20-year-old passenger managed to escape without injury.
Firefighters had to cut free three elderly women in the Mazda, who are in a serious condition in Palmerston North on Thursday night.
The driver of the Subaru has been arrested, but no charges have yet been laid.
The Serious Crash Unit and the Independent Police Conduct Authority are investigating.