Police admit car chase resulting in death should have been called off

Police have admitted they should have called off the pursuit of a fleeing driver that resulted in the death of an innocent member of the public. 

The Police Watchdog found that not only should Police have never commenced the pursuit, but there were also multiple occasions when they should have abandoned it. 

It's been a year since 64-year-old Kenneth McCaul was killed on his way to work at Christchurch Hospital, he was t-boned by a carload of teenagers fleeing police.

The 17-year-old driver Jayden Richard Breakwell ran through eight red lights and traveled at speeds of up to 137 km/h before hitting McCaul. 

Breakwell was sentenced to 2 years 8 months behind bars

The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) has now found pursuing the driver was a greater risk than letting it go.

Owen Fraser, McCaul's widower, painfully recalls hearing his partner had died.

"They took us into a small room and said Kenneth had died."

But he doesn't blame the police. 

"I don't blame the police at all. It was the guy that was driving the car that I blame, he didn't stop."

But tonight Police are admitting they got it wrong, Superintendent John Price saying police accept the report. 

The IPCA found they were not justified in starting the pursuit, that there were multiple times they should have called it off and didn't, and that the controller in the communications centre didn't form or communicate a plan to end the police chase.

Superintendent John Price says it's a wake-up call for police.

"I think every fleeing driver pursuit is a wake-up call for police, there is the potential for serious injury and harm in any incident like this." 

Police trialed the use of the Eagle Helicopter over Christchurch focusing on catching fleeing drivers but it was eventually canned. 

"Any air support is a very useful functional tool for police to sue and it has been shown  it has made a difference in fleeing drivers."

For Owen Fraser, the grief of losing his husband is still raw and he is urging young drivers to be safer on our roads.