Shortly before 3am today, a dog handler driving north on State Highway 1 saw a small hatchback travelling at high speed, near the Terrace Tunnel.

The officer followed the vehicle and established it had been reported stolen from Petone last night.

A pursuit was initiated when the driver failed to stop.

The vehicle continued north on SH1 before crashing south of the Tawa off ramp.

It is at this point the officer, who was alone, has learnt there were six people in the vehicle – five seated in the vehicle and one in the boot.

15 year old Bailey Patmore who was in the car boot, died at the scene.

The five others — four teenagers and one 21-year-old, all from Porirua — sustained minor injuries and were checked at Wellington Hospital emergency department before being released this morning.

This is an incredibly sad time for the family of the teen who died, and May 19 will never have the same meaning for them again.

Police are with the family today and will continue to provide support.

There’s a constant risk assessment process undertaken by our officers and communications staff during these incidents, which are inherently dangerous.

The motivations for fleeing are many and varied and it’s hard at times to understand the mentality of fleeing drivers — we just wish they would pull over.

A number of investigations will now commence — a Serious Crash Unit investigation and an internal Police investigation.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has been notified.

-Superintendent Sam Hoyle, Wellington District Commander.

Issued by Police Media Centre

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