Police have described as ''abominable'' a male driver alleged to have left his young female companion dying after crashing the car following a police pursuit.
Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Andrew Crisp described the chain of events that led to the 18-year-old Mernda woman to be fighting for her life at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Saturday.
Northcote police were patrolling in Preston when they saw a green Hyundai travel north out of Foley Avenue, up Albert Street at about 5.10am.
Mr Crisp said the patrol car officers attempted to pull over the driver.
''It was 5.10 in the morning - not that many vehicles around - and police doing what police do, it was just a routine intercept to see who was driving around the streets at this time of the morning,'' Mr Crisp said.
The car then allegedly ran a red light at Gower Street.
Police pursued the car with lights and sirens sounding.
A police sergeant joined the pursuit in line with police chase protocol, Mr Crisp said.
The car fled up Albert Street where Mr Crisp said police lost sight of the car at Murray Street.
The green Hyundai was then discovered crashed into a power pole on a pedestrian refuge strip in the centre of the road just south of Tyler Street.
Police allege they saw the driver then abandon the car and flee on foot down Tyler Street where police again lost him.
A second police car was flagged down by a passing pedestrian who told them that a young woman was injured and still trapped inside the car.
The Mernda woman was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital with life-threatening injuries including injuries to her upper body, and pelvic area and leg injuries.
The driver, 27-year-old Craigieburn man Andrew Simpson, handed himself in at the St Kilda Road police complex about 4pm.
He was charged with recklessly causing serious injury, negligently causing serious injury, evading police and bail offences, a police spokesman said.
Mr Simpson was remanded in custody to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Sunday.
It is the second serious car crash after a police chase in a week. Last Saturday, also at about 5am, a man was killed when the car he was driving in rolled over during a police pursuit at Macedon, north-west of Melbourne.
In that incident police were called to Macedon train station after reports of an attempted theft.
Four suspects fled the scene in a car and police pursued them for about two kilometres.
Their upturned vehicle was found at the Blackwood and Forbes roads intersection.
A woman was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital in a stable condition under police guard. Two other men fled the scene.
''As per standard practice, the investigation will be oversighted by members of the Professional Standards Command,'' a Victoria Police statement said.
Anyone with any information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or visit www.crimestoppersvic.com.au
With Patrick Hatch.