Kids in vehicle during pursuit

YOUNG children have been led on a wild police pursuit that hit 180km/h as a vehicle sped down the wrong side of the Hume Highway.

Police stopped a silver Ford Territory on the highway near Holbrook about 4pm on Tuesday.

The female driver was speaking to Highway Patrol members outside the car. 

Children aged three, two and seven months were inside the vehicle with three men.

One of the men got into the driver’s seat and drove off at high speed, leading to a pursuit.

The chase was terminated for safety reasons when the vehicle went onto the wrong side of the road.

Cooma man Mick Tinnock swerved and narrowly avoided the car as it came towards him “as fast as it could go”.

“I near got cleaned up by this car on the wrong side of the road,” he said.

“He was heading southbound, I was heading northbound.

“It scared the s--- out of me.

“I pulled up and rang my missus and said I’m not sure if you’re lucky or unlucky but I just about got murdered.”

Police re-engaged the pursuit as the vehicle headed towards the Olympic Highway at Table Top.

The driver, who had been armed with a knife, ran from the car and entered a home in a bid to avoid officers.

They forced entry to the property and arrested the 30-year-old Albury man.

Detective Inspector Winston Woodward said police had not realised the three children were in the vehicle until it had come to a stop. 

He said officers were shocked by the discovery.

“Police were shocked to find three young people in the back seat,” he said.

“It’s a disgraceful display of driving skills.”

The other two men inside the car were also taken to the Albury police station. 

They were charged over unrelated matters. 

The driver was charged with police pursuit, car theft, drive in a manner or speed dangerous, armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, intimidation and using a weapon to avoid apprehension.

Mr Tinnock said police had tried to get other cars off the highway for safety reasons as the vehicle sped towards them. 

He thought the Territory’s tyres had been spiked by officers as he could smell rubber as the vehicle sped past him. 

The driver was refused bail by police. 

The man was due to face Albury court on Wednesday.