Two young Tauranga girls are in hospital after they stole a car and crashed it into a tree not long after being spotted by an officer on patrol, police say.
The two 14-year-olds suffered serious injuries in the crash at the intersection of Bellevue Road and Windsor Road yesterday morning.
The driver is in a critical condition in Starship Hospital and the passenger has serious injuries but is in a stable condition in Tauranga Hospital.
The car was stolen from the city centre and a police officer on patrol spotted it on Bellevue Road, senior sergeant Ian Campion said.
The officer turned to follow the car but lost it. A few minutes later the stolen car crashed into a tree, he said.
The cause of the crash is being investigated. NZN