A 25-year-old unemployed Dunedin man will appear later today in the Dunedin District Court on a number of charges in relation to a drive off from a service station in Hillside Road, Dunedin, yesterday.
He faces a number of charges including driving with excess breath alcohol, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and dangerous driving.
At about 10.20pm last night a Subaru motor vehicle was unlawfully taken from the forecourt of the Mobil Service Station on Hillside Road, Dunedin.
The vehicle's driver went to make a purchase at the service station shop, thinking that a friend travelling with him in the car had remained in the vehicle with his two sleeping sons, aged 3 years and 18 months. It wasn't until the driver turned to leave the shop that he realised his friend was no longer in the car and was behind him in the queue. A man unknown to the driver was seen driving erratically from the station forecourt in the Subaru vehicle.
Police were notified and a short time later the vehicle was seen driving at speeds of up to 150km/hr before crashing on SH1 south of the Saddle Hill overbridge near Mosgiel.
A passer by observed a man getting out of the vehicle and leaving the crash scene. The man returned several minutes later and was apprehended by Police.
The two children were unharmed and it appeared that the driver was unaware of their presence in the vehicle.
"It was extremely fortunate that these children were safely restrained in child restraint seats given the dangerous speed, road conditions and subsequent crash," said Acting Senior Sergeant Tania Baron of Dunedin Police.
"There could have been a much more serious and tragic outcome," she said.
The driver sustained a small cut to his face and did not require medical attention.