Young driver critically injured after jumping from bridge while fleeing from police

A young driver running away from the police is in Waikato Hospital in critical condition after jumping from a bridge and falling 20 metres.

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Just days after urging drivers contemplating fleeing Police to think again, officers are again asking for common sense and caution after an incident in Morrinsville that has left a young man fighting for his life.

Eastern Waikato Area Commander, Inspector Dana McDondald, said the call comes a day after a series of incidents involving the driver of a car in Morrinsville about 2am.

“Police had been called about a car allegedly racing up and down Young St without lights on and received another call about an upset woman crying on the side of the road and the driver of what we believe to be the same vehicle, yelling at her.

“As staff were attending an unrelated job, they saw a vehicle speed through an intersection with no lights and tried to stop the driver who refused to pull over and fled the scene.” Given the nature of the fleeing man’s driving, the Police pursuit, managed by the Northern Communications Centre in Auckland, was abandoned.

“The car was sighted again on Kuranui Rd a short time later travelling at walking speed with smoke coming from the bonnet, the car was seen to come to a halt on Avenue Rd by a bridge and the driver has got out of the car and run on to the bridge.

“Officers following the driver on foot called out to the man to stop however it appears he has jumped from the bridge and dropped about 20m, he was found below the bridge in a critical condition and taken to Waikato Hospital where he is currently in the Intensive Care Unit.”

Mr McDonald said one of the saddest things about the incident was its avoidability.

“Last week Police in Hamilton urged drivers to consider the danger they place themselves, and other motorists in when they don’t stop for Police.

“When a driver flees a number of things occur, all coordinated through North Comms via radio. As said last week, it is very hard to outrun radios and in the end is a fruitless exercise. In all instances we urge drivers to think about the risks, not only to themselves but to other people.”

The fruitlessness of trying to evade the long arm of the law was made all the more poignant following the arrest of a man on Friday following a collision with another vehicle and a building on Hamilton’s Kahikatea Dr on Wednesday night.

The 28-year-old man was arrested on a failing to stop charge in relation to last week’s incident and faces an additional 21 charges in relation to burglary and other offences.

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