Two hospitalised after separate police pursuits
Two men are in hospital under police guard after being involved in two separate high speed car chases.
Hours after a man was arrested and taken to The Alfred hospital after a dramatic highway police chase, topping 100 km/h through Melbourne's eastern suburbs, another man was taken to hospital after allegedly crashing a stolen taxi in Geelong.
The two crashes came after the state government proposed tough new laws in which hoon drivers involved in a police pursuit would face three years' jail.
The Geelong chase began after a taxi driver reported his car stolen from a service station in Clarendon Street, South Melbourne about 10.45pm on Thursday.
A police spokeswoman said officers tracked the car using the taxi's GPS technology and followed it over the West Gate Bridge towards Geelong.
Officers tried to intercept the taxi when it slowed almost to a stop on Barrabool Road, Highton, in Geelong's south-west.
But the police spokeswoman said that within seconds, the man accelerated from a low speed to about 130 km/h.
"He immediately lost control of the car and veered off the road, rolling it several times," the spokeswoman said.
The 23-year-old man, of no fixed address, was taken to Geelong Hospital, where he is under police guard. Police said he suffered minor injuries and was being co-operative with inquiries.
The Ethical Standards Department will investigate the pursuit.
On Thursday afternoon, another man and a police officer were taken to hospital after a chase ended in a crash in Wantirna.
The pursuit began after police tried to intercept a car after the driver drove through an automated number plate recognition site police had set up on the Burwood Highway at Vermont South, just before 1.30pm.
The driver of the silver CX7 Mazda wagon failed to stop and clipped the police officer's right elbow as he drove past.
Despite the injury, police said the officer got into his car and pursued the car along eastwards along the Burwood Highway before turning left onto the Mountain Highway where the chase topped 100 km/h.
The chase ended when the driver turned left onto Wantirna Road, after the driver ran a red light and collided with a Kia Carnival mini van, carrying seven people. One of the van's passengers suffered minor injuries, police said.
The offender's car then crashed into a tree and a fence on the north east side of the intersection, where it came to a stop.
But police said the driver quickly got out of the car and the chase began again on foot. He was arrested soon after but police troubles were far from over.
"A short time later the offender again attempted to flee, running into traffic, whilst still handcuffed," a police spokeswoman said.
"A second police unit attended, with both members running onto the road to chase the offender. One of the members out of the second vehicle, slipped on the road, injuring herself after hitting her head on the asphalt." She was taken to hospital for observation.
The offender was re-arrested and after complaining about back pain, was taken to The Alfred hospital under police guard.
People with information are asked to phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.