Two killed in separate crashes

Two people have died following two crashes in Taupo this morning. Photo: Daniel Hines/SunLive.

Two people have died in the Bay of Plenty Police District this morning.

One person died following a fleeing driver incident at Rotokawa, near Taupō, early this morning.

The incident took place after a vehicle driving dangerously near a fatal crash scene failed to stop for police.

At about 11.40pm, emergency services were called to a single-vehicle crash on Broadbands Road, near Centennial Drive, says Bay of Plenty District Commander Superintendent Andy McGregor.

The vehicle left the road and rolled through a paddock before colliding with a tree.

The driver and sole occupant died at the scene.

At about 1.20am, while police were conducting a scene examination, another vehicle was observed travelling at high speed and overtaking an unmarked police vehicle as it approached the crash site and the road closure cordons.

"To ensure the safety of staff working at the scene, police attempted to stop the vehicle," says Andy.

"The driver then fled from police.

"Police followed the vehicle for less than 30 seconds before it crashed through a fence."

One of the two occupants died following the crash.

Another sustained moderate injuries.

"The decision whether or not to pursue a fleeing driver is one of the most serious decisions our staff face on the frontline," says Andy.

"This is an absolute tragedy and an outcome no one ever wants.

"We come to work every day to keep our community safe, and the staff involved have been deeply affected by this incident.

"The circumstances will be subject to investigation by both the Independent Police Conduct Authority and police investigators."

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