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Police updates – Loafers Lodge number of victims confirmed, fatal crashes in Ward and Dunedin

Crime updates 27 May 2023

Police updates on crimes and investigations for 27 May 2023.

Newtown fire update

As a result of the detailed, methodical search, Police can confirm the total number of victims in the Loafers Lodge, Newtown fire on 16 May is five.

Police has already released their names, and is offering support to their families.

‘Our scene examination is continuing and is expected to extend into next week,’ said Inspector Dion Bennett, Acting Wellington District Commander.

Fatal fleeing driver crash, Dunedin

A man has died following a fleeing driver event after a commercial burglary in Dunedin overnight.

Around 1:25am, Police were called to a liquor store in Hillside Road after reports of a burglary.

Attending Police arrived, and located a vehicle of interest nearby and attempted to stop it. However, the driver refused to do so and fled the scene.

Less than a minute later, the vehicle crashed on Melbourne Street.

One of the five occupants – all in aged in their 20s – died at the scene. Two were taken to hospital in serious condition, and one had minor injuries.

Southern District Commander Superintendent Paul Basham says our officers aim to keep the community safe, and a tragic outcome like this is the last thing anyone wants.

“Incidents like this have huge impacts for everyone involved – those in the fleeing vehicle, as well as attending Police,” Superintendent Basham says.

“Our message to people is quite simple – if you are signalled to stop by Police, then stop. The potential outcome is so much worse if you choose to flee.”

As is standard for incidents of this nature, a criminal investigation has commenced, and this is in its early stages.

Police have also referred this matter to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

Fatal crash, State Highway 1, Ward

Police can confirm a person has died following a crash between a car and motorbike near Ward last night.

The crash was reported about 6pm, on State Highway 1, between Wests and Ure roads.

One person died at the scene. Five other people suffered minor-to-moderate injuries.

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