A critical incident investigation has been launched into a fatal police pursuit at Barnsley in the early hours of this morning.

Lake Macquarie police responded to reports of a robbery taking place on a ticket machine at Teralba Railway Station just before 3.30am

Officers on their way to the railway station spotted a black BMW nearby without registration plates and began a high speed chase.

The pursuit continued from Racecourse Road until the BMW ran off Northville Drive, slamming into a power pole and bursting into flames.

The driver, a 42-year-old Newcastle man, died at the scene.

Two male police officers, a Senior Constable and a Constable, managed to free a 30-year-old female passenger from the vehicle, suffering burns to their hands in the process.

The woman was conveyed to John Hunter Hospital where she is being treated for non life threatening injuries.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Peter Thurtell addresses the media at Newcastle Police Station.