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Man missing in river after police chase

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/06/2016

A man is missing after jumping into a Northland river following a high-speed police pursuit.

The chase began in Whangarei at early on Thursday evening when police attempted to stop a speeding car, which was travelling at more than twice the speed limit in a 50km/h zone.

The driver stopped to let two passengers out, then took off and police started a pursuit.

During the 50-minute chase, the man's car was spiked twice and eventually stopped in a rest area on Mangakahia Rd.

Police believe he jumped into the Mangakahia River at about 7.30pm.

Inspector Wayne Ewers said a search began immediately, and Search and Rescue have now been deployed to carry out a sweep of the riverbank.

Police still don't know who he is, and Insp Ewers asked the male and female passengers to come forward and identify the driver.

"We have serious concerns for his safety, given the conditions of the river last night."

He asked that anyone living in the Parakao area who had a man unexpectedly show up at their home, or had seen a man in the area to contact police.

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