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Johannesburg - An illegal drag racer narrowly escaped death in a high speed chase with police, Cape Town traffic officers said on Friday.

“A drag-racing motorist had a narrow escape on Thursday during a high-speed chase with members of Traffic Services' Ghost Squad,” mayoral member for safety and security Jean-Pierre Smith said in a statement.

Officers were patrolling the R102 near the Buttskop railway crossing when they noticed two vehicles participating in an illegal street race.

“Officers intercepted the racers and activated their blue lights and sirens, after which the driver of one of the vehicles pulled over to the side of the road,” he said.

The second driver however attempted to get away, driving off at speeds in excess of 170km/h.

The driver lost control of his vehicle while approaching a bend in the road, spun out of control, and hit a lamp post.

The car travelled another 50 metres before crashing into a stormwater bridge wall and flipping on its side.

Smith said the driver managed to get out of the vehicle, complaining of pains in his chest and pelvis and was taken to hospital where he was listed as being in a stable condition.