POLICE have defended the practice of pursuits and warned motorists to pull over when directed by officers after a man remained fighting for his life with injuries suffered in a crash after he allegedly took off from a mobile random breath test at Windale.
The man, 32, was in a drug-induced coma suffering severe leg fractures and a possible head injury after the Holden Commodore he was driving slammed into a pole and almost broke in two just after midnight on Sunday.
It is understood the driver has never held a driver’s licence.
His passenger, 35, miraculously walked away from the wreck on Willandra Crescent as it was catching on fire.
The crash, where police say they had initiated a pursuit before terminating it for safety reasons before the Commodore sped off and hit the police, has prompted another critical incident investigation regarding police pursuits.
However, acting Northern Region commander John Gralton said early indications allowed him to feel “comfortable that police actions were consistent with our safe driver policy”.
“The police at the time were attempting to do a random mobile breath test and attempted to stop the vehicle, it sped away, they initiated a pursuit but a short time later that pursuit was terminated due to safety reasons,” acting Assistant Commissioner Gralton said.
“And, as I said, there was a crash a while after that.’’
As part of police protocols, the critical incident would be investigated by police outside the local area command and would be overseen by the professional standards command.
Highway patrol officers attempted to stop the car for a mobile random breath test at Gateshead when it failed to stop.
Mr Gralton said pleaded with motorists to obey police directions.
“I can say that there are strict protocols in place in the form of our safe driver policy,’’ he said.
“It is quite comprehensive, it is actually considered best practice.
“There are laws in place, my best advice for when police are attempting to pull you over is that you stop.
“There is no greater penalty than losing your life or taking the life of another, so if the police signal for you to pull over, just do it.
“Don't put yourself or the community at risk.’’
POLICE are conducting a critical incident investigation after a Windale crash.
Lake Macquarie Traffic and Highway Patrol offers attempted to stop a Holden Commodore at Gateshead about 12am on Sunday.
Police said the car failed to stop and crashed into a Wilandra Crescent power pole a short time later, catching fire.
One male passenger was freed from the wreckage before the fire was extinguished while the driver was trapped for some time.
Paramedics treated him at the scene before taking him to the John Hunter Hospital in a critical condition.
A team from Newcastle police will investigate all circumstances of the incident under the supervision of the Professional Standards Command.
“No further details are available at this time; however, police are appealing for witnesses to come forward,” NSW Police said in a statement.
Anyone who can assist should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.