Two killed in fiery car crash

Two people died in Alice Springs when a car hit a light pole and burst into flames on Saturday.
At about 11pm a police patrol observed a vehicle entering the Gregory Terrace and Bath Street roundabout in the wrong direction.
Police activated their emergency lights to stop the vehicle, and believed the driver was about to comply. However, the driver chose not to, evading the direction of police and continued to drive on.
At the Stott Terrace and Leichhardt Terrace roundabout, the driver fled the police vehicle at a dangerous speed at which point the police ceased to follow the vehicle. This decision was made in accordance with police policy in order to minimise further risk to the fleeing driver, their vehicles occupants, other road users and the police themselves.
About four minutes later, the Triple Zero call centre received a call regarding a serious motor vehicle crash on South Terrace with the vehicle was reported to be in flames.
Upon police arrival at the scene, the same vehicle that had evaded the direction of police had crashed into a power pole on the opposite side of the road, tearing the power pole from the ground and ejecting a passenger.
Both the male driver and the female passenger who was ejected from the vehicle were confirmed dead at the scene.
Police used their fire extinguisher to attempt to extinguish flames in order to rescue another female passenger who was trapped in the vehicle prior to the Fire and Rescue Service also arriving at the scene.
This female passenger, another female passenger and a young child who is believed to have crawled from the burning wreckage, were taken by St John Ambulance to Alice Springs Hospital with varying injuries.
There were five persons in the vehicle in total.
The identities of the deceased male and female are yet to be formally confirmed however preliminary enquiries indicate the vehicles occupants are all from a remote community, the driver being a 27-year-old male who is disqualified from driving.
The crash will be investigated as deaths in police custody.
Police Commissioner John McRoberts said: “The Police Officers acted appropriately in attempting to stop the vehicle initially before ceasing to follow the vehicle once the fleeing driver sped off at a dangerous speed.”

Police are calling for any witnesses who may have seen this silver Holden commodore sedan with four adult occupants and one child, driving around the Alice Springs town centre in the lead up to this crash, between 10.30 and 11pm last night to contact them on 131 444.
The 2012 road toll now stands at eight compared to two for the same time period last year.
The name of the remote community where the deceased and surviving passengers are believed to be residents of will not be named until identities have been confirmed and next of kin notified.

(Police release.)

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